Buggered blinded believer of bollocks

Then aide to PKR Information Chief Tian Chua, Nathaniel Tan was arrested and investigated for OSA, celebrating his release from Police remand. Circa mid 2007

Staunch PKR supporters and activists have started to boldly express their deep disappointment for the episode of ADUN Kajang Lee Chin Cheh’s abrupt resignation without valid reason and summary announcement of Opposition Leader and PKR Adviser Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement for candidacy for DUN N25 Kajang.

Former aide to PKR Information Chief Tian Chua and later Anwar himself, Harvard graduate Nathaniel Tan penned his utter disgust and disappointment for how and what PKR had turned out to be.

Commentary on Opposition online mouthpiece Malaysiakini:

The dearth of transparency and democracy in PKR

Nathaniel Tan

COMMENT

For years I defended Anwar Ibrahim. For years I defended PKR. I defended and I defended, until the day came where it became impossible to defend the indefensible.

People always like to speculate whether people change their positions due to money. In all honesty, I think that’s a healthy speculation.

After yesterday’s article, more than one person asked about the profits I made working for the Selangor government. I had a good run, and earned a similar amount as the people I went to school with, for the three years I was with Selangor.

In the middle of last year, I was informed my services would no longer be required.

They did not explain why at length (except perhaps to hint that I was costing too much), and I did not really ask or pursue the matter. My last day of work was around November 2013, and I have not had any professional engagement with them since.

Given the abrupt dismissal, perhaps people would have been less surprised if I had turned on Abdul Khalid Ibrahim instead of Anwar Ibrahim.

In any case, let’s get to it.

Many people are throwing about words like ‘tactics’, ‘strategy’, ‘Mahathirism’, ‘racial and religious incitement’, ‘strengthening Pakatan Rakyat’, etc, etc.

I’ll spend a few words on all those later, but for my money, they have nothing to do with the most important implication of what is going on.

The murky game of cloaks and daggers 

To me, the real problem pivots on how Anwar and his associates are running PKR in a manner that is completely bereft of transparency, accountability and democratic principles.

Let’s carry out a simple thought exercise: How did the decision to carry out the Kajang plan come about?

I don’t know, do you?

Many have speculated (myself included), many claim it happened one way or another, but the truth is: nobody outside the nebulous ‘inner circle’ has any idea.

PKR has a large supreme council that is mostly democratically elected, and a smaller political bureau. Can we say with confidence that members of both were given an opportunity to voice their opinions, much less be made fully aware of what was going on? Are there official minutes perhaps, that we might refer to?

Beyond PKR, there are the leaders of PAS and DAP, and there are the representatives of the Selangor State Assembly – all democratically elected as representatives by party members, and by the rakyat.

How many of them had a say in the decision that would so heavily influence who would be the number one person in the Selangor state government? Were there broad consultations among party leaders, elected representatives, and (God forbid) the rakyat? Or was it presented to the world as a fait accompli?

The day Lee Chin Cheh (left) resigned his seat in Kajang, someone theoretically in the top 10 ranking of PKR leaders messaged me, saying: “I guess I’m always the last to know. Sigh”

If he/she is the last to know, what more the rest of us?

This is the latest – and by my reckoning the last straw – in a culture of cloak and dagger politics within PKR that for too long now has circumvented transparency and democracy in favour of whispered deals made in backrooms that no one is privy to.

I suppose it was stupid of us to expect democracy from a party whose ‘de facto leader’ has no democratic mandate whatsoever.

These issues have not been the focus of public attention, but in my mind, the implications of this style of politics continuing to spiral out of control is the most significant factor in the entire crisis.

‘The bigger picture’

All these years, I felt that despite these problems, it was important to maintain unity in order to fight the bigger enemy: Umno.

It’s a sad day when you turn around and realise that the people you’ve been fighting for have come to live and breathe so deeply the culture you thought you were fighting against.

Over the years, I have spent countless words trying to fight cynicism against politics, and speaking out against armchair critics who seem fuelled mostly by self-righteous anger, and who never seem to get their hands dirty.

I did this because, like so many others, I wanted to concentrate on the big picture. I desperately wanted a Malaysia free of Umno.

On Tuesday, I realised how far some politicians would go in abusing and manipulating this desperation.

For too long now, I think Anwar, PKR and Pakatan have become convinced that they can get away with murder, because they believe those of us who hunger for change simply have no other options.

They assume we truly, truly will vote for Pakatan (and Anwar) no matter what, as long as no alternative (like another party, or say, Khalid) exists.

I had always thought there was a limit as to how far they would go. It would appear not.

Talking cock

Alarm bells should start ringing when politicians say things that don’t make sense, and expect you to believe it.

At some point in ‘The Life Of Pi’, a pair of Japanese gentleman are presented with two different stories, and are asked: which story do you prefer?

The question was not which do you think is true, the question was: which do you prefer?

Too often we believe what we want to, not what the facts suggest. It is a struggle to be objective, but it is a struggle well worth undertaking.

The first story

Let me try to present, as objectively as I possibly can, two stories that might explain what is going on.

The first has been articulated most popularly by Rafizi Ramli – a man whose sharp intelligence is reflected crystal clear in the politically savvy tone he used to make his argument.

This story suggests that we are on the edge of a crisis; that forces linked to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad are looking to dethrone Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, and instigate an era of unprecedented racial and religious strife.

This story has it that in order to take Putrajaya, it is imperative that Anwar be a state assemblyman of Selangor.

That is all that Rafizi claims at this point, but I think it is not too much of a stretch to assume that he means that Anwar must become the Selangor menteri besar in order to effectively use Selangor as a “launchpad” to take over Putrajaya.

It is nothing short of comical to think that Anwar has some other role to play as a state assemblyman alone.

This story also has it that “option is key” – that somehow the ability to chose between Khalid, Anwar and someone else does not represent potential instability, but is rather some kind of ace up PKR’s sleeve against the Umno leviathan

Given the process that needs to be carried out in order to change the menteri besar, the palace dynamics and the uncertain position that PAS will take, it seems to me that this move will actually create great instability all around, where once the only instability existed was those perpetrated incessantly by party leaders.

There is also a warning about Selangor becoming Kedah, despite the fact that while Pakatan lost Kedah in the elections, Selangor increased its seat count by eight times more than any other state government that gained more seats in GE13.

Other people allude to reasons that they “can’t talk about” things behind the scenes that we “wouldn’t understand”.

If we were really privy to all the discussions and the real reasons, I personally don’t think we wouldn’t understand; it’s more like we wouldn’t approve. That’s why we haven’t been made privy to them, and are served in their place steaming piles of horse manure.

The second story

Now let’s try another story. In this story, Khalid runs the state in a way that makes the people happy, but makes politicians unhappy.

The last thing I want to do is make things up out of thin air. To elaborate on the previous statistic – in GE13, Negeri Sembilan increased its state assembly seats by one; Penang did the same. Selangor increased its seats by eight.

People love to yell until they’re blue in the face, saying that this or that is what the public really thinks, but this hard statistic is nevertheless incontrovertible. It does not prove conclusively that the public is happy with Khalid, but there are more statistics that provide statistics that suggest the opposite (which is quite remarkable, considering Khalid’s complete deprioritisation of public relations work).

Recently, in a poll by The Star, Khalid was top choice for menteri besar, obtaining nearly the same amount of votes as the next two candidates put together (Anwar and Rafizi).

I could be wrong, but was there a Merdeka Center poll some years back where Khalid was shown to be a more popular leader than Anwar? If so, I can’t imagine it made Anwar feel too good.

The part where Khalid makes politicians unhappy I think goes without saying – sometimes for perfectly valid reasons, reasons I myself have experienced and been frustrated by.

Are they reasons enough to remove him? For my money, not by a long shot.

In any case, Khalid probably thinks it is beneath him to defend his record (can you imagine anyone else in his position maintaining the relative silence that he has?), so I won’t presume to do it for him.

In this story, the most important thing about Khalid is that he does not easily accede to party wishes. If you ask his detractors, this applies to questions of policy (though I cannot think of many such policies). If you ask his supporters, this applies to how the party wants the state to be a bigger “resource” for party activities.

If you ask a cynic, he or she would say, all the PKR people want is their fingers in the jar that Khalid has kept so tightly closed.

Is it all just about the money? To say so would probably be a disservice to the varied members of the ‘Anwar for menteri besar’ team.

Or, is it mostly about the money?

I suppose you will have to look as objectively as you can at the things they are saying. If they make sense to you, then the answer is ‘no’. If they do not make sense to you, then the answer is ‘yes’.

Feudal politics and Umno DNA

People like to say that PKR is like Umno, but they seldom go into specifics. In what way does it or does it not resemble Umno?

I think PKR is most like Umno in that it is an extremely feudal party. The most efficient and traditional feudal boss is Azmin Ali (a man who perhaps stands to gain the most from a debacle in Kajang), while Anwar’s feudal style leans more towards playing people off on one another, thus making himself as indispensable as possible.

Feudal politics cannot exist unless there exists money, resources and power to dole out. The Selangor menteri besar can dole out a lot. Opposition Leader? Not so much.

In the latter story, perhaps this latest ploy is also consciously or subconsciously motivated by a desire to stay relevant – to inspire followers who are losing faith, energy or both, and to do so at any cost.

PAS and DAP

It appears PAS is divided. Its newly-minted Youth chief has taken a hard stance, which I can appreciate, while the rest of the leaders may once again be bullied (for the “bigger picture”) to go along for the ride. Why they keep letting PKR do this to them? I do not quite understand.

Meanwhile, motivating some quarters in DAP is the belief that someone like Anwar can relieve some of the pressure they are feeling due to the Allah issue.

If they think Anwar has the magic bullet that will bring us closer to actual solutions on this issue, I fear they will be sorely disappointed. However, this is merely an opinion of mine, for which insufficient space for elaboration exists.

The grass is always greener on the other side, and I think it will be too late by the time the delusions clear, and people realise exactly what they threw away when they replaced Khalid.

Enough politics of fear

We believe what we want to. Sometimes this leads to idolatry. Inside so many of us lives a burning yearning for change, and a pining for shining heroes to make that change real.

These are completely understandable yearnings; but if we let them compromise our objectivity and our judgment, then we shall be forever lost.

I was saddened to see Lim Kit Siang use May 13 as some sort of bogeyman after so many years of berating MCA for doing exactly the same thing.

If you read Rafizi’s admittedly eloquent, beautifully crafted defence with greater care, you will see significant strains of the same politics of fear: we must do this because of the Umno threat; we must do this because without Anwar, Selangor will crumble like Kedah; we must do this because only Anwar is a light strong enough to fight the oncoming dark.

Scary words, but the facts quite simply do not seem to bear them out.

Every one of us will have to choose in this free marketplace of ideas which stories make the most sense, and every one of us will have to live with the consequences of our choices. At the end of the day, as always, we will get the government we deserve.

It’s been a difficult time, but there is no point in living unless we truly believe that for every closed door, a window opens. All we have to do is to find it.

NATHANIEL TAN tweets @NatAsasi, and wishes everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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It took Tan seven years to realise that he had been hoodwinked all along by Anwar Ibrahim and his struggle of falsehood idealism is purely a bed of lies, one layer after another. Like many PKRettes, he is in the limbo of disbelieve, denial and betrayed.

PKR Leaders who realised they were deceived by Anwar

This is not a new phenomena in PKR.

More than 50 founding members and senior party leaders in the likes of Dr. Chandra Muzafar, Abdul Rahman Osman, Ezam Md Nor, Ruslan Kassim, Anuar Shaari, Dato’ Zulkifli Nordin, Dato’ Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, Ng Lum Yong, Lokman Noor Adam, Dato’ Sallehuddin Hashim, Dato’ S. Nalla Karupan, Dato’ Zainur Zakaria, Tan Tee Beng, Dr. Ahmad Fairus Khairuddin, N Gobalakrishan and others have abandoned Anwar, his bandit of liars and party of lies.

Some even vowed to wage Anwar Ibrahim, in any political battles.

The Malay Mail story:

Former PKR members pledge to campaign against Anwar

FEBRUARY 3, 2014

 

In a surprise move last week, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman without giving a reason, paving the way for Anwar to contest the by-election. — file picture In a surprise move last week, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman without giving a reason, paving the way for Anwar to contest the by-election. — file picture
 
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — More than 3,000 former PKR leaders and members will campaign against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to expose the “political theatrics” involved in the Kajang by-election.

Former PKR founding member Ng Lum Yong told the Malay language daily, Berita Harian, that the focus of the campaign will be to remind Kajang voters about the Opposition leader’s character and to show that he is trying to manipulate them, including trying to divert attention from his sodomy court case.

“Right now we are still looking at strategic locations for the campaign machinery to visit. We will go to every village and settlement to explain the truth about Anwar’s politics.

“Other than presentations and lectures, this campaign or operation room will be the centre of information for voters to get information on PKR, on top of explaining issues and allegations by the opposition,” he was quoted as saying.

The MCA man also said that former Kulim Bandar Baru MP Datuk Zulkifli Nordin, Senator Ezam Mohd Noor as well as Anwar’s former secretary Anuar Shaari will be joining the campaign, which will begin as early as next week.

“I know that he can order whomever to resign in order for him to contest, even though Azmin Ali is more powerful in the state as the party’s state chairman.

“Anwar is plagued with some serious moral problems and do not have the credibility to resolve the Selangor crisis. In fact, his intervention in the state will destabilise Selangor because Anwar will put himself first before the people,” Ng said.

Meanwhile, MIC Youth chief Sivarajah Chandran told the New Straits Times that the party will back MCA should it decide to contest in the state seat.

“MCA should be given the opportunity [to prove its mettle].

“[PKR] may have their no. 1 leader contesting in Kajang, but we will ensure that [Anwar] will be rejected by the voters,” he said.

In a surprise move last week, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman without giving a reason, paving the way for Anwar to contest the by-election.

The move came amid media speculation that a state by-election would be triggered to pave the way for Anwar to become a member of the Selangor assembly and qualify to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as menteri besar.

While popular with the general public, Khalid’s penchant for unilateral decision-making in administering the country’s wealthiest state is understood to be a source of dissatisfaction among PR leaders in the state.

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It is pointless for getting wiser of after the event. Hence, it is wise to pay micro-scopic attention and chronologically reflect to have a helicopter view on what Anwar Ibrahim has been struggling ever since his humiliating sacking from his near-exalted post of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister on 2 September 1998 and UMNO a day later.

There is still time, for the sake of Malaysia today, tomorrow and for a long time.

*Updated 1600hrs

ADUN for Hutan Melintang S Kesavan left PKR, after feeling very disappointed with the ‘Kajang episode’. More PKR leaders and elected representatives are expected to throw in their towel for the same reason and frustration towards Anwar Ibrahim and his policies and practices of PKR.

 

Published in: on February 4, 2014 at 14:00  Comments (15)  

Grandstanding Governorness

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and dear darling first lady expressed their gratefulness that Tourism Malaysian representative in Sweden’s children are back in Malaysia, amidst the complications arisen from their parents’ arrest by Swedish Police since 18 December 2013.

01 February 2014| last updated at 03:22PM

Najib thanks Sweden for the return of the 4 children of Malaysian couple

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KUALA LUMPUR : Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak thanked the Swedish government for its special consideration which has enabled four children of a Malaysian couple detained there, to return home today.

“I understand, prior to this, it was very difficult (to obtain permission to bring home), but due to the good relations between Malaysia and Sweden and in the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child signed by both nations, they had given their agreement,” he told reporters at his residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, here, today.

The children of the couple, Azizul Raheem Awalludin and Shalwati Norshal, who were detained on Dec 18, 2013 on a charge of beating the hand of their youngest son for not praying, arrived at the residence of the Prime Minister at 1pm.

Aishah, 14; Ammar, 12; Adam, 11 dan Arif, 7, were accompanied by deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Fatigued after a journey of 17 hours from Stockholm, they appeared cheerful when received by Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

They also spent time in conversation and asking about the children, who were accompanied by relatives.–Bernama

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor speaks to the four siblings- Aisyah, Ammar, Adam and Arif at PM’s residence in Jalan Langgak Duta. Pix by Khairull Azry Bidin.

Read more: Najib thanks Sweden for the return of the 4 children of Malaysian couple – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/najib-thanks-sweden-for-the-return-of-the-4-children-of-malaysian-couple-1.474932#ixzz2sHikQhVN

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The children were whisked directly from KLIA, when they arrived from Stockholm in over 17 hours journey to be entertained by Prime Minister Najib and Rosmah. Later in the evening, the children left on a Firefly flight to be with immediate family of their mother in Ketereh, Kelantan.

Some people questioned why should the children call on Prime Minister Najib and Rosmah upon their arrival, instead of being with their family who are most probably been having a lot of anxiety and feeling down since their kin were arrested by Swedish Police since 18 December.

That is not as damaging on what Rosmah had to say to the media during the press conference.

Excerpts from NST story ‘We’ll do all we can for the couple’ 2 February 2014:

Rosmah, who said she was deeply concerned about the children’s welfare, said she was ready to seek an audience with the King and Queen of Sweden should Hamzah’s mission fail.

“I have established a good relationship with the King and Queen of Sweden, who are sensitive towards the welfare of their children and their subjects.”

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Is it necessary for Rosmah to grandstand like that and in that condescending tone?

So had Deputy Foreign Minister Dato’ Hamzah Zainuddin’s week long mission and the entire Malaysian permanent emissary to Stockholm failed, she would have called on the King and Queen of Sweden. Just like how and what she did when she called on Susan Mubarak and members of the Saudi Royal family.

What is with her and being validated for the credit?

Can’t she work behind the curtain and not claim or acknowledged for her personal relationships, which is more valuable than years of G-to-G relationship and diplomacy?

It is alarming that she could be portrayed as someone who is so hard up for acknowledgement and attention. Her simplistic ‘self-generated advertisement’ could result to the Malaysian public rendering lesser if not diminishing respect for civil servants and career diplomats, who have dedicated their entire professional life in the service of His Majesty’s Government.

Probably one of these days senior civil servants would boldly demand that Rosmah be given a special consultation space and schedule in all Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) by rotation, to serve the multi-layered and complex rakyats’ issues deemed unresolved by over 1.2 million civil servants.

Published in: on February 3, 2014 at 23:59  Comments (6)  

Justice delayed, is justice denied

The RM1.1 million of the noble program 1AZAM to help the poor alleviate the socio-economoic status had been misappropriated

The case where MACC did a thoroughly investigation on former Political Secretary to former Minister of Women Affairs and Family Development Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil already got nationwide attention. Many is in anxiety when will Dato’ Suhaimi Ibrahim and two others implicated in the investigation, be charged in a criminal court.

Riong Kali dot com:

Mounting speculation over delay in charging ex-Umno political aide with corruption

BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
FEBRUARY 03, 2014

There is mounting speculation of political intervention or selective prosecution in the delay in charging a former Umno political secretary arrested last Monday for misappropriating RM1.1 million from three foundations.

Sources say the former political aide and a director of one of the foundations were linked to investigations that money from the foundations was diverted for political purposes instead of being used to help the poor.

“This is an explosive investigation and just the tip of the iceberg. Some Umno people don’t want to see this case go to court,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

He was referring to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) statement last week, saying it had arrested two men, including a former political secretary with a datuk title, and were expected to charge them on Tuesday.

But hours later, the MACC said there had been a mistake and the men would be charged at an undetermined date. Both were released on RM50,000 bail.

“The power of prosecution lies with the Attorney General’s Chambers and any MACC statement is only issued after they agree,” another source said.

“MACC is ready but no one knows why there is a delay. It might happen this week but who knows,” he added.

According to the MACC statement issued by Investigations Director Commissioner Datuk Mustafar Ali, the two men in their 30s and 50s were to be charged in the Sessions Court last Tuesday with criminal breach of trust amounting to some RM1.1 million and cheating involving RM1 million.

The ex-political secretary and director were arrested on January 27 morning and evening and released on bail ahead of their charges.

The three foundations involved in the case were set up in the 1980s and three years but were registered as limited companies and not as welfare bodies, it added.

The two were the directors and trustees of the foundations and MACC said the money was taken out against the foundations’ objectives.

The statement said another director with a datuk title was also held for offences under the Companies Act in an investigation related to the foundation.

Several Putrajaya insiders say the Attorney General’s Chambers must act quickly to dispel the impression of selective prosecution in high-profile cases, noting that former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik had brought up that complaint last month.

“People are watching the government. They must be fair and charge all, not just those outside Umno,” said one insider.

It is understood that the case is related to the detention of Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, the former political secretary to former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (pic), who confirmed last September that he was detained for investigations by MACC.

Suhaimi had said that he was investigated for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for the poor under the 1Azam programme, adding that at least seven other ministry officials were called in.

“I have nothing to hide. Yes, I was arrested but the information which was published in blogs and online portals was not entirely true,” he had said.

Reports stated that MACC seized 10 luxury vehicles from Suhaimi, but he denied that they belonged to him.

“Those vehicles are not mine,” said the 54-year-old businessman.

“If there are questions about my wealth, my house, as mentioned in a blog, it was all through my hard work. I have been a businessman since 1995 and that was where the money came from,” said Suhaimi, who was the former Benta state assemblyman in Pahang.

The 1Azam programme is a government initiative under the jurisdiction of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

It was introduced in January 2010 to provide employment opportunities to the hardcore poor in the business, services and agriculture sectors.

The Welfare Department has spent RM1.35 billion so far to provide aid to 473,928 recipients nationwide. – February 3, 2014.

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Procrastinating this case would not add value on public perception, towards the Federal Government under Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. Combatting corruption is one of the three thrust of reforms that Prime Minister Najib announced upon making the acceptance speech as the Seventh UMNO President on 28 March 2009 in Dewan Merdeka, PWTC in front of more than 2,700 UMNO delegates and carried live on national tv.

Prime Minister Najib still retain Shahrizat, seen by many as a very tainted UMNO politician (in her drama during and after the National Feedlot Corporation, where her husband Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohd. Salleh Ismail and son are being charged and the trial is on going), as ‘Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Women Affairs’.

Dato’ Seri Shahrizat A Jalil and husband Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohd. Salleh Ismail

In politics, perception is almost everything. It is even more powerful that proof since the first impression imprint the process of perception and decision making with regards to the said personality.

Exactly a week ago, MACC announced that by Wednesday 29 January 2014, three persons including a former Political Secretary to then a Cabinet Minister were to be charged.

The Star story:

Published: Monday January 27, 2014 MYT 6:21:00 PM
Updated: Monday January 27, 2014 MYT 6:24:34 PM

Ex-political secretary to be charged with RM1.1mil CBT

BY NICHOLAS CHENG

PETALING JAYA: A former political secretary to a Cabinet minister has been arrested over the misappropriation of some RM1.1mil belonging to three foundations.
The man, who is a Datuk, was arrested on Monday by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) along with another individual, who is the director of one of the foundations headed by the suspect.The MACC said in a statement that both individuals, in their 30’s and 50’s, will be charged on Wednesday for criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code.MACC investigations director Datuk Mustafar Ali said both men have been released on a RM50,000 bail.He said the three foundations, established between 1980 and 2011, were not registered as charitable organisations but were operating as companies with limited liability.It is learnt that the funds utilised by the organisations were in conflict with the objectives of a foundation.Both suspects held the positions of director and trustee of the organisations.The MACC added that another director of one of the foundations, who is also a Datuk, was arrested for an offence under the Companies Act.

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All the materials presented in media and announcements made previously pertaining to the misappropriation of RM1.1million from the 1AZAM program funds and all the so called abuses reported, already casted a very negative perception towards personalities like Dato’ Suhaimi Ibrahim. If the investigations is completed as per announced by MACC, then the next process should come seamlessly.

Delaying the process of seeking justice is denying justice for Suhaimi, whose reputation has already been affected and the rakyat, represented by MACC who have been entrusted to deal with errant persons with power and either abuse, practice graft or corruption for personal gains.

“Those cars are not mine”

The longer the delay, the perception that Prime Minister Najib is condoning if not harbouring corrupt lieutenants to other corrupt lieutenants, in the complex power-base pyramid of scheme.

If it is completely without any doubt that MACC has completed their investigations, then Prime Minister Najib must insist the Attorney General Chambers act with speed to do the necessary writ and let the process of justice to take its place.

*Updated

Chairman of MACC consultation and corruption prevention advisory panel Dato’ Johan Jaafar issued a strong statement for the glitch or delay in the charge of the two men who have been investigated for the RM1.1 million CBT case.

MACC wants answers

Posted on 3 February 2014 – 03:49pm
Last updated on 3 February 2014 – 10:32pm

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 3, 2014): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is at odds with the Attorney-General’s Chambers over the latter’s failure to bring two former officers of a cabinet minister to court as had been announced last week.

MACC consultation and corruption prevention advisory panel chairman Datuk Johan Jaaffar said this could invite speculation of outside interference.

“As an independent panel, we’re concerned with this development as it could lead to public speculation or perception of outside interference,” he said in a statement today.

He said the panel strongly felt that in the interest of transparency, the AG’s Chambers owed the public an explanation.

The panel said it would seek an explanation from the AG’s Chambers as to why the duo were not charged as the MACC had announced in a press statement last Monday.

It was saddened by mounting speculation of “political intervention” or “selective prosecution” in the delay, but believed such a thing was far from the truth.

The 11-member panel said it strongly opposed any interference, political or otherwise, to MACC’s efforts to fight corruption as this could erode public confidence in the MACC or the AG’s Chambers, as well as the government itself.

The MACC, in its statement earlier, had said that the ex-political secretary with the title of Datuk, and a director of one of the foundations headed by the Datuk, would be charged in the Kuala Lumpur sessions court under the Penal Code with alleged criminal breach of trust involving more the RM1.1 million and another charge of alleged cheating worth RM1 million.

The duo were arrested by MACC and were released on RM50,000 bail each.

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Published in: on February 3, 2014 at 13:00  Comments (6)  

The Machiavellian Prime Minister

Anthony Jay’s and Jonathan Lynn’s fictitous but highly popular comical British Prime Minister Right Honourable Jim Hacker MP has returned with new follies. This round, Hacker is a more temperamental troubled nation tinged with better grasp of machiavellian politics.

Along with Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby and Principle Private Secretary Bernard Woolley, Political Adviser Claire Sutton complicated the chronic issues that looms No. 10 Downing Street and the rest of Whitehall and Her Majesty’s government.

The character ‘Jim Hacker’ is almost a real person who became a politician.

Hacker was an academic political researcher, polytechnic lecturer, and editor of a newspaper, Reform, and entered Parliament circa 1961. He continued with at least some of these jobs while holding the office of Member of Parliament for Birmingham East.

For the first twenty years of his political career, Hacker was a member of the Opposition, and he served as Shadow Minister of Agriculture from 1974 on. In 1980, he served as the head of the unsuccessful party leadership campaign of Martin Walker; the winner of this campaign, Herbert Attwell, later went on to win the general election in 1981, and thereby became the UK’s new prime minister.

Hacker was nervous that Attwell would pass him over for a Cabinet post as an act of revenge for running Walker’s campaign against him, but Attwell appointed Hacker to the cabinet as minister for the (fictitious) Department of Administrative Affairs. At least one news commentator of the time speculated that the appointment was actually an act of revenge, as the DAA had a reputation as “a political graveyard” that could end Hacker’s career

Issues discussed in these series include previously considered taboo.

Published in: on February 2, 2014 at 14:30  Comments (1)  

Anwar’s Waterloo

Self proclaimed French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte, in the late afternoon of 18 June 1815 in a farming village of Waterloo, conceding that he lost to Duke of Wellington

Parti KeAdilan Rakyat, which evolved from the created movement to champion Anwar Ibrahim’s personal problem, has gone into serious disarray and conundrum. The progressively chronic struggle for premiership in Selangor State Government led into the abrupt resignation of ADUN Kajang, which paved the way for Opposition Leader Anwar “Mat King Leather” to make his debut formally in Selangor politics and State Assembly.

That raised the question of the direction, planning and agreement between the leaders and struggle of the ‘component members’ of yet to be formalised Opposition parties coalition.

The New Mandala story:

The dark and treacherous road to Putrajaya

– 31 JANUARY 2014POSTED IN: ANWAR IBRAHIMELECTIONSMALAYSIA

dsai-asiaweek

Since when did Malaysians ever vote for the Prime Minister?

The nature of the parliamentary system is such that the electorate chooses which political party (or coalition) that can best govern the country. They in turn choose who amongst their leaders to head up the executive branch i.e. to become the Prime Minister. There is no ‘direct election’ for Prime Ministership, unlike in a Presidential system. Thus, it is entirely puzzling at the examples proffered by supporters of Anwar Ibrahim’s latest move to contest in the soon-to-be-held Kajang state seat by-election. The comparison to Jacques Chirac, Lee Myung-Bak, Reccep Erdogan, Joko Widodo, among others, is totally inapt and simply strains credulity.

It is established then that the political party is the lead actor in a parliamentary system, not the individual politician. So what is the point of having Anwar Ibrahim to take over the Chief Ministership of Selangor from Khalid Ibrahim (as much as Anwar is playing it down for now)? The electorate votes for the party, not the personality that embodies it.  Anwar Ibrahim is not the be-all and end-all of the Opposition

If it is about showcasing achievements of an Opposition-led state government to garner the people’s vote of confidence for the ultimate prize, Putrajaya, then replacing the Chief Minister of a well-performing state such as Selangor for no good reason is just folly. It is also not clear what Anwar Ibrahim can do to promote the success of an Opposition-led state especially in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) strongholds in the rural areas.

Two question remain:

1) How does showcasing the achievements of Selangor, Penang and Kelantan governments translate into possible victory of Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan: People’s Alliance – the Opposition coalition) in the next general election?

2) Since the successes of the Selangor and Penang governments have been evident since 2008 but somehow did not help Pakatan to win other states in the last general election, what else is new now?

But these two questions are heavily premised on Pakatan’s eventual victory in a highly flawed and biased electoral system. Instead of replacing the Chief Minister and creating unnecessary attention to its own ineptness maybe Pakatan should find better and more effective ways to articulate the achievements of Selangor and Penang to the wider audience against the stifling restrictions on the freedom of press and speech. It does not matter who is at the helm of the Selangor state government if the stories of its success only reverberate among its supporters and fail to make a dent among non-Pakatan voters.

Respecting the electorate

There is also the eight hundred pound gorilla that still sits uneasily in the room: why did Lee Chin Cheh abruptly resign from his state seat? So far no explanation has been offered by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). If Lee Chin Cheh had resigned with reasons that are less than dire, then it is a dereliction of his duty to serve the people who overwhelmingly voted for him in the last general election. It is a sheer betrayal of Kajang people’s trust of their representative and the political party he is a part of. It is simply impossible to claim a moral high ground when the party is engaging in the same manipulative politics as its nemesis. One is then left to choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. In the end the rakyat may just vote for the “evil that we know,” as opposed to the “angel we don’t know,” thus fulfilling Mahathir Mohamad’s crystal-gazing prognostication. Is this the Machiavellian “democracy” that PKR, and by extension Pakatan, envisions for Malaysia? A victory brought on by any means necessary rings hollow if the Rakyat ends up as the collateral damage.

In regards to being an effective wakil rakyat (elected member) is it advisable or even possible to simultaneously service two constituencies that differ greatly in geography, culture, socio-economic background and ethnic makeup? Is it even democratic to begin with? Being elected into office means carrying the heavy burden of rakyat’s hopes, dreams and aspirations and trying to fulfil them to the best of one’s ability. It does not give the wakil rakyat the carte blanche to treat the constituents like some meaningless pawns on the grand political chessboard to be manipulated whenever it is politically expedient.

How will Anwar Ibrahim explain this to both the constituencies of Permatang Pauh and Kajang? Simply setting up service centres in the constituency and only visiting it right before the general election does not make for an effective and trustworthy people’s representative. Plus, the job scope and focus of a member of parliament (MP) and state assemblyperson differ in many ways – one may have to deal with the burgeoning national deficit in Dewan Rakyat and the other may deal with potholes behind Pak Mat’s house in Taman Kajang Bestari. How does Anwar Ibrahim plan to reconcile them?

What wrong has Khalid done?

The whole brouhaha obviously started with the internal party bickering between Khalid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali, which somehow necessitated Anwar Ibrahim’s foray into state politics to purportedly defuse the tension.

In what ways do including Anwar Ibrahim in the state government, either as a state assemblyperson and/or Chief Minister, help quell the infightings within Selangor PKR?

More pointedly, what have Khalid Ibrahim done wrong to the people of Selangor in the past six years for him to be replaced before his term ends?

Rafizi Ramli, PKR’s MP for Pandan, states that with Anwar at the helm nobody will be able to mess with him politically because he is the head honcho but what about using his gravitas instead to prop up Khalid Ibrahim’s creaky position within and without the party and make it unassailable. If Anwar Ibrahim makes it perfectly clear to every PKR cadres, especially the ones in Azmin Ali’s camp, that he is solidly behind Khalid Ibrahim and all are required to put on a united front in support of Khalid Ibrahim, then none of this fiasco would have escalated and festered into what it is now.

Rafizi Ramli’s ‘sincere but rather opaque’ written statement regarding this issue also mentions the need to fortify Selangor against the impending BN onslaught, hell-bent on wresting back the richest state in the federation even if it literally ends up in ashes and embers.

But the reasoning begs the question: what is BN, or particularly Selangor UMNO, doing now or planning to do later that is different than what they had done in the past? Lest we forget, the Selangor UMNO launched the Selamatkan Selangorcampaign right after the 2008 general election to spread misinformation, lies and slanders and concoct many nefarious plans to sabotage the Pakatan state government, including stoking the racial and religious flames. But instead, the Selangor voters returned Pakatan to the state government in the last general election with an even bigger majority. If anything, setting up Anwar Ibrahim at the top of the state government will only serve as a lightning rod for Pakatan’s detractors, as opposed to the more low profile Khalid Ibrahim.

Shadow cabinet

If proof is what Pakatan needs in order to show the public that it can effectively govern on the national level, then one of the better ways is to form a shadow cabinet. This idea has been mooted many times over the years but somehow perplexedly never been taken up by the Pakatan leadership. This will demonstrate that first, the component parties within Pakatan are able to work together and agree on specific policies in response to the official ones issued by the Barisan Nasional government; and second, it exemplifies Pakatan’s readiness to govern and hit the ground running when the time finally comes.

The current uproar concerning the Allah use in Malay-language bibles is a good case in point for the need of a shadow cabinet. If there is a shadow Home Minister or a shadow Minister in-charge of Islamic affairs issuing statements on behalf of the shadow government to counter the cynical ploys of UMNO to politically exploit this issue, the crisis might not have ratcheted up to the level we are seeing now. Instead, we have contradicting and convoluting pronouncements coming out of the Pakatan camp regarding this matter. Maybe Pakatan should tackle this issue first and successfully so, as a way to show the rakyat that it is able to govern and solve problems cohesively as a coalition. This would be a remarkable accomplishment as it is comprised of partners of equal standing; unlike BN, that is overwhelmingly dominated by UMNO, hence the focus on UMNO-centric policies.

Anwar’s Waterloo

Rafizi Ramli is right. The Kajang by-election will be the game-changer but not in the manner that he thinks. It is indeed another dark chapter in Malaysian democracy, and more importantly a treacherous path in the country’s transition to a genuine two-party system. One commentator in Malaysiakini wrote that this will be Anwar Ibrahim’s Waterloo. Maybe that is what is needed to facilitate more people-centric democratic practices and allow the generation of young leaders to be unencumbered by old political culture; and for them to blossom in Malaysia.

In the meantime, it is going to be a long dark journey to Putrajaya for Pakatan with democracy taking a back seat.

Azmil Tayeb is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. 

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The resignation of Lee Chin Cheh as ADUN of Kajang and ultra quick announcement of Anwar to contest spells the exit of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the Menteri Besar of Selangor, without a clear and valid reason. Probably the recent announcement of pay rise of MB, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Excos did not come as favourable amongst Opposition leaders.

The fact is that Khalid did not offer nor suggests that he was willing to resign, at any point of time.

This is all about the power struggle of proxies of Anwar and his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is PKR President. The matter was already chronic when the internal squabble started to gain attention and now has worsened.

The last time a MB of Selangor resigned was then Dato’ Seri Dr Abu Hassan Omar in August 2000, for ‘very personal reasons’.

Despite the top leaders of DAP and PAS throwing their support for Anwar Ibrahim’s latest political circus stunt, the middle-range leaders are not shy to voice their displeasure in what many dubbed to be making a mockery out of the demoractic system and process to serve internal political cat-fights.

Riong Kali dot com:

PAS, DAP lawmakers split on PKR candidate for Kajang by-election

BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS
JANUARY 28, 2014

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is serving his second term as menteri besar. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 28, 2014.Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is serving his second term as menteri besar. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 28, 2014.

Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh’s shock resignation is further fuelling the roiling political situation in Selangor as both DAP and PAS lawmakers disagree over the selection method for his replacement, who could be the next Selangor menteri besar.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is due to clear the air today over the latest episode in Selangor PKR, which has been beset with a war between state chief Azmin Ali and two-term menteri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Lee’s resignation has led to PAS demanding PKR discuss with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies before deciding on the candidate while the DAP has maintained that PKR can name anyone. Both parties hold 15 seats each while PKR has 13 now after Lee quit the 56-seat state assembly yesterday.

PAS Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungib insisted the choice of the candidate will affect the Selangor government and as such, PKR cannot isolate PAS and DAP when choosing the candidate.

“Especially if this candidate is later slated to be the next menteri besar,” he told The Malaysian Insider, referring to speculation that Khalid will step down soon after the by-election.

The popular Khalid is serving his second term as menteri besar after the former corporate captain first stood in Election 2008.

Saari respected Lee’s decision to resign as assemblyman although he was elected only eight months ago, saying he only came to know of Lee’s resignation from the Selangor backbenchers club Whatsapp chat group.

State legislative assembly Speaker Hannah Yeo confirmed Lee’s resignation at a news conference in Shah Alam yesterday evening.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said it was up to PKR to decide its candidate.

“It is PKR’s prerogative to nominate who it wants to send to the legislative assembly and this includes  Anwar,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Santiago said PKR could select its candidate first and later inform DAP and PAS.

The power struggle between Khalid and Azmin is said to be the main reason Lee had to vacate his seat – to pave the way for Anwar or possibly other leaders to contest and replace Khalid as menteri besar.

The friction between the two leaders heightened when Azmin , who is also PKR deputy president, was dropped from state developer PKNS’s board of directors.

Azmin, who is Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman in Selangor, went head-on with Khalid on various issues, including the salary hike for executive councillors and assemblymen.

DAP Sekinchan representive Ng Sue Lim , however, refused to be drawn into the discussion on Lee’s abrupt resignation which he said was “news to me”.

“I respect his stand but any decision has to come from the DAP headquaraters,” said the three-term assemblyman.

PKR Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said Lee had made a great sacrifice to help overcome the impasse between both PKR leaders and for the future of PR in Selangor.

“He personally informed me that he was quiting as assemblyman two weeks ago, saying that this was for the party,” Abdullah Sani said.

Abdullah Sani also stressed that Lee was not forced to resign but did it on his own free-will. – January 28, 2014.

****************

The game many see is Anwar Ibrahim trying to ascend as the Menteri Besar of Selangor if he wins, giving the ‘politically correct’ motive and justification within PKR and presumably with the support of DAP and PKR, to oust Khalid.

If this game turns out to be true, then there would be other complications arising from this latest Anwar’s sordid political gambit.

In the first place, would HRH Sultan of Selangor Tuanku Sharafuddin Idris Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah accept Anwar, who is a non Selangorian as the Menteri Besar.

Former Court of Appeal Judge Dato’ Mohd. Noor Abdulah strongly opined that HRH Sultan Selangor has the absolute power to appoint a Menteri Besar.

The Malay Mail story, based on Bernama report:

Sultan has last word on MB pick, ex-judge insists

FEBRUARY 1, 2014

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — The nomination of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in the by-election for the Kajang state constituency has become a hot topic throughout the country.

The decision has created numerous perceptions to the extent that many are wondering whether Anwar is suitable as a candidate to take over as Selangor Menteri Besar.

A former judge of the Court of Appeals, Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah explained that the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has absolute power in deciding the appointment of an individual to be the state’s Menteri Besar. He said the power is provided for in the Selangor State Constitution 1959 based on Article 51.

“The Sultan of Selangor has absolute power on two matters and can make a decision without any advice, that is, in the selection of the Menteri Besar and secondly, in the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly

“In making a decision on these two matters, the Sultan does not have to act on the advice of anyone,” he told reporters at Menara Felda here, recently.

Mohd Noor explained that the Sultan is empowered to appoint any State Assemblyman whom he considers to have the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly, and the second condition is that the Menteri Besar appointed must be of the Malay race and a Muslim.

He disclosed this when referring to the Article 51 of the State Constitution based on Article 53 (2)(a); and Article 51 (2) subject to Article 53 (4) in the Selangor State Constitution 1959.

“According to these provisions, the Ruler or Sultan however, could relax the condition according to his discretion to fulfil the first condition,” he said.

In other words, he said, the constitution provides that the power rested on the people in the democratic process where the Sultan is merely a constitutional ruler and has the power to appoint the Menteri Besar based on the law specified.

However, he said, the Sultan could not choose anyone he liked to become the Menteri Besar because this could be interpreted as interfering in the political affairs of the state.

“In the case of Selangor, two parties namely PAS and PKR can nominate the name of an appropriate candidate and if this is rejected, they must nominate another name,” he said.

However, Mohd Noor said the candidate nominated must be from the party that had won the election and in the situation in Selangor, for example, the Sultan of Selangor could determine whether the candidate is a PAS or PKR leader.

He said the Sultan had no power to delay the appointment.

“However, as an example, if representative A garners the majority vote, but representative B is the Sultan’s choice, then the party can decide who becomes the Menteri Besar through the lobbying process between one another. So, when representative B is elected, the representative B will meet the Sultan to seek his consent.

“This means that the party gives in to the wishes of the Sultan. But if the party insists on the decision of the majority to choose representative A, then the Sultan cannot appoint B.

This is because if B is appointed and later receives a vote of no confidence, he will eventually be removed,” he explained.

Under the present situation, Mohd Noor said the Selangor State Assembly had already sat and if Anwar were to win the by-election, a motion could be made in the State Assembly, he would be nominated as the Menteri Besar.

“The current Menteri Besar (Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim) becomes the MB at the pleasure of the Sultan for five years. If he wants to step down before the five-year period, he could present his letter of resignation to the Sultan.

“If he doesn’t want to resign, then a vote of no confidence on the Menteri Besar could be passed and if the motion is passed, he loses. Then, he will have to vacate his post,” he explained.

After appointing the Menteri Besar, the Sultan is also empowered to appoint the State Government Executive Councillors based on the nominations by the Menteri Besar.

Based on the law and Federal Constitution, Mohd Noor said the criteria for a candidate to stand for state election is that he or she must be a Malaysian national, his home address must be in the state he wished to contest in, aged above 21, has a sound mind, not a bankrupt and had never been jailed for more than one year (but he can contest after the expiry of the jail term).

“The home address of the candidate in his identity card must be in the state he is contesting, for example in the vacancy in the Kajang state constituency. Any candidate wishing to contest must have a Selangor address. But the law does not state how long the candidate must reside in Selangor,” he said.

The by-election is to be held following the move by the Kajang State Assemblyman, Lee Chin Cheh, from the PKR, who vacated his seat last Monday.

To a question whether Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be allowed to contest the by-election if the government wins the appeal for the sodomy case against him, Mohd Noor said it would not because the Opposition Leader could still appeal in the Federal Court.

“(However), anyone who is eventually convicted by the Federal Court for a serious offence, and the charge is a serious offence, then his political or professional career would end,” he said.

On August 7, 2008 Anwar was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for sodomising his personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara condominium, Bukit Damansara.

However, on January 9, 2012, the Kuala Lumpur High Court found Anwar not guilty and acquitted and discharged him on grounds that there was no evidence to support the victim’s testimony.

On January 20, 2012, the Attorney-General’s Chambers filed an appeal on the decision of the High Court and the appeal would be heard on February 12 and 13 at the Court of Appeal. — Bernama

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Then, how would Anwar serve as the MB of Selangor when he is now the Opposition Leader in the Dewan Rakyat. Would and most importantly could he retain both political post in the same time.

That is if all political component is in agreement that Anwar serves in both position.

The political impasse could be complicated further if PAS were to insist that their representative be appointed MB of Selangor if and when Khalid leaves the post. It is highly  unlikely that a DAP ADUN could fill the post since HRH Sultan of Selangor would not accept.

Probably, HRH Sultan of Selangor would insist that the opportunity of the replacement MB should be given to PAS, since PKR has demonstrated their ability to squabble amongst themselves which saw the Selangor State Government machinery such as PKNS being dragged into internal party politics.

Another missed opportunity again, for the three times failed-Prime-Minister-Wannabe?

In Selangor, PAS is the more stable and disciplined party as compared to PKR.  They are regimented in adhering to the Supreme Council decision.

After all, it was also PKR who wanted to dip their hands into Religious Department’s Baitul Mal from the accumulated zakat (tithe), “For development purposes” which irked HRH Tuanku Sultan.

Regardless, there is a strong possibility of a ‘Constitutional crisis’ in Selangor.

This could be the beginning of Anwar Ibrahim’s and PKR downfall. Wrong judgment based on misguided information, poor political calculation and blinded emotional quotient, was the recipe for the Napolean Bonaparte’s ultimate defeat in the sleepy Belgian farming village south of Brussels on that fateful day in June 1815.

*Updated 1800hrs

Published in: on February 1, 2014 at 13:30  Comments (3)