Persona Non Grata, Supremus

Pakatan Harapan Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad boldly sending the message of on top of being classified as a Persona Non Grata, he is proving to be a true friend of DAP highlighting his anti-establishment traits, which include the HRH Malay Rulers.

The Star GEIC Wong Chun Wai’s opinion on unravelling his anti-Malay Rulers traits:

The royalty and Dr Mahathir

THE Council of the Royal Court in Selangor is more than a feudalistic, ceremonial body. Headed by His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor, it is, in fact, a relevant and powerful panel which advises him on virtually all issues.

The role and function of the 19-member body is to aid and advise Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah in exercising his role. The panel comprises his son (Selangor Raja Muda Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah), the royal members, the elders and the Mentri Besar.

One of its members is Jen Tan Sri Hashim Mohamed Ali – brother-in-law of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The decision of the former premier to return two awards conferred by the Sultan has put Hashim in an embarrassing spot. More humiliatingly, his sister, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, also handed her awards back.

The ceremony, ahead of Tuanku’s birthday, had just ended at 4pm when a representative showed up at the palace to return the awards on behalf of Dr Mahathir.

In the words of an eyewitness, it was “neatly packed” with an accompanying letter from a long-time private secretary who had served him since his days as Prime Minister.

The surprising spectacle, to put it bluntly, went down badly with most members of the Royal Court. Hashim, in the eyes of some members, though blameless, was still apologetic.

Dr Mahathir’s decision to return the awards came shortly after the Ruler publicly expressed his unhappiness with Dr Mahathir over the latter’s comments about the Bugis being “pirates”.

In an interview with The Star, the Sultan had also remarked that Dr Mahathir suffered from “inferiority complex” and that the former PM would only “burn down the whole country” with his deep hatred.

They were strong words indeed. However, Dr Mahathir was expected to merely accept the remarks and criticism in good faith as advice from a highly respected Ruler, and not end up sulking like he did.

The Sultan of Selangor is among the most senior Rulers and he was clearly expressing the sentiments of his fellow Sultans.

That itself is a vital point – that all nine Rulers shared a stand against Dr Mahathir’s actions and this wasn’t the sentiment of merely one.

“This is the concern of all Malay Rulers. The nine of us,” said the Sultan of Selangor, referencing the misuse of race and religion ahead of the general election.

Dr Mahathir is not the first person to return honours awarded by Selangor, as erroneously reported by certain factions of the media.

In 2011, former Selangor Mentri Besar, Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo, “temporarily” returned the state award, which carries the title “Datuk Seri”, following his corruption charge. And when he was convicted in 2015, the title was altogether withdrawn by the Sultan.

Dr Mahathir’s returning of the awards has won him the admiration of his supporters, including those who have backed him from day one, along with those who once detested him but now lauding his switch to the Opposition bandwagon.

Then, there are those who feel that Dr Mahathir has, once again, crossed the line. The first time was when he sat next to DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang to begin the Opposition pact.

To the Malay voters in the rural heartland, it is something they find difficult to comprehend, especially after he spent his entire political career labelling the DAP racists and extremists.

The coming general election will be a test to see how much the majority of Malay voters are prepared to accept these dramatic and radical changes in the Opposition’s bid to bring down the Najib administration.

But his fellow Opposition leaders are certainly unsure. Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is now in DAP, sent out a tweet urging the Sultan “to be careful with his words. No one is immune when the country burns”.

Truth be told, it sounded like a warning to Tuanku. And certainly, to rebut a Sultan in such an uncouth manner is not ingrained in Malay values, culture or psyche.

Zaid found it surprising that no one, at least publicly, was ready to join or defend him, attested to by his tweet later that he felt alone in his crusade.

In fact, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali called for an explanation and demanded Zaid to take responsibility for his statement, while DAP’s top brass distanced themselves from his indiscretion.

No one being prepared to rebuke royalty speaks volumes of how sensitive it is perceived for a politician to take on or feud with them.

Dr Mahathir’s brashness is well-known, but the difference this time around is that he is no longer in Umno. He is now in the Opposition.

He needs all the support he can get, and antagonising the Rulers may not be the best way to help the Opposition’s cause. The Sultan of Johor has no love lost for Dr Mahathir, and His Majesty has openly made his stand known. Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar also said he was hurt by the remarks of Dr Mahathir on the Bugis community.

And don’t forget that His Majesty carries plenty of respect and influence in Johor, a state eyed by the Opposition, especially Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, of which Dr Mahathir is chairman.

But that’s not the end of his problems either. The 92-year-old politician has offered himself to be an “interim Prime Minister” but no one has responded because PKR, DAP and Amanah probably have Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in mind, should Pakatan Harapan win.

There is no doubt that Dr Mahathir’s name continues to resonate with many sections of the Malay community, especially among the older ones. After all, for the longest time, he was the only PM they knew, with him at the helm for 22 years.

No one can erase what he has done to build Malaysia into a modern nation. He made Malaysians proud. But at the same time, his iron-fisted and authoritative rule continues to leave an unpleasant taste, a legacy of his time in charge.

It is also a fact that Dr Mahathir left an indelible impression on Malaysia history, so much so foreigners are often heard uttering his name in awe when we say we are Malaysians. No one can dispute his great work.

But the challenge for him now, in his twilight years, is to see if Malaysians are prepared to let him lead the country again.

Even for those who would vote for the opposition, they find the thought illogical. Dr Mahathir’s problem has always been his inability to let go.

He wanted Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to implement things his way, and he expected the same of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Dr Mahathir has given the impression that only he has exacting standards, therefore, he has to be left to run the show, again.

None of his deputies when he was PM, like Tun Musa Hitam and Anwar, could work well with him.

Only the late Tun Ghafar Baba did but that’s probably because he did not see the mild-mannered Ghafar as a threat.

For practical reasons, the Opposition, which is unable to galvanise the battle in the absence of Anwar, see Dr Mahathir as a useful ally. But should Pakatan Harapan win, a fresh round of feuds will surely surface.

If there is an important lesson here for politicians, whether those in office, aspiring to be elected, or returning from retirement, it is this – leaders come and go, but Rulers remain. Dr Mahathir has learnt the consequence of putting them down previously.

The present Rulers were merely Raja Muda and Tengku Mahkota when Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister then, removed the legal immunity of the royalty in an amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1993. But now, they appear to be striking back.

Istana Bukit Kayangan, to where Dr Mahathir returned the medals, was once stripped of police sentries, guards and outriders, to humiliate Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.

In a picture of failing fortunes with cut budgets, the roof of the palace, at one time, leaked, too, the carpet getting soiled in the process.

And like most things in life, things have come full circle, and in the past 20 years, the roles seem to have changed.



This subliminal message is meant for the Non Malays, especially the Chinese which gave DAP a thumping support in the last 2 GEs and the more liberal and urbanite Malays, who are in the probability of being swayed against the conservative values of what UMNO stood for.

At the 13GE in May 2013, DAP won in 38 Parliamentary constituencies. PKR won 30 seats. This is in comparison of UMNO’s 88 seats.

The ballot political battle  this round is very important because the racial lines have been drawn bolder and Dr. Mahathir, formed a party to challenge UMNO’s political supremacy especially in Malay heartlands.

Of course, Dr. Mahathir had not gone far with his dissent Malay centric party. It is unlikely, even teaming up with PKR (by taking over former Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s role) and the splinter of PAS, Parti Amanah Negara.

It is unlikely Dr. Mahathir as a Persona Non Grata, would go very far.

The Star political columnist Joceline Tan:

Fighting one too many fires


Firestorm: Dr Mahathir is not the sort to kowtow to anyone and his latest act of defiance saw Selangor Umno demonstrating in defence of the Sultan of Selangor.

Firestorm: Dr Mahathir is not the sort to kowtow to anyone and his latest act of defiance saw Selangor Umno demonstrating in defence of the Sultan of Selangor.

IT was quite an awkward moment when their paths crossed after Friday prayers at the Putrajaya mosque earlier this month.

But Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made the first move towards the man whom he had called “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty” and reached out to shake the elder man’s hand.

The Deputy Prime Minister is famous for his PR and he even wrapped an arm around Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s shoulder as though they were BFFs.

Both men knew that everyone was watching and recording the encounter on their mobile devices, otherwise the former premier would have been tempted to give Dr Ahmad Zahid the cold shoulder.

Dr Ahmad Zahid looked as though he was thrilled at the chance meeting but Dr Mahathir’s body language was something else. The elder man was smiling away but he avoided eye contact with his name-caller and he looked like he could not wait to escape.

In hindsight, that was the moment before the storm for Dr Mahathir. A few days later, a hot potato landed on the lap of the Pakatan Harapan chairman.

The Sultan of Selangor’s criticism of Dr Mahathir during an interview had drawn an injudicious reaction from lawyer and DAP politician Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and there was a chain political eruptions after that.

Threats have been levelled at Zaid, police reports have been lodged, there have been demonstrations in support of the Sultan and to cap it all, Dr Mahathir has returned the titles awarded to him by the Selangor palace.

The first title was conferred in 1978 when he was on the way up and the second, the highest award known as the Darjah Kerabat or DK, was in 2003 as he was about to ride into the sunset. The years in between were not the best of years between him and the Malay Rulers.

Actually, a number of royal houses also awarded him the DK for his services to the nation – even the Kelantan palace which had an acrimonious relationship with him.

The joke among the sophisticated cafe society was that the royals were relieved to see the man who had clipped their wings ride off into the sunset and they wanted to give him a good send-off. Like the rest of us, the royals did not imagine that Dr Mahathir, 92, would turn his horse around and make a spectacular return to mainstream politics.

Returning the Selangor royal awards has been condemned by the pro-royalists as derhaka or treachery.

Once upon a time, such an act would have spelt the death knell for a Malay politician but times have changed and the opinion out there has been quite mixed. In fact, Malays seem more worked up about President Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Dr Mahathir is still adapting to life in the Opposition but the Selangor issue has shown that nothing beats experience when it comes to sensitive issues. He slipped up with his “Bugis pirate” speech, he did not expect it to hit the royal nerves in Selangor and Johor.

But, in what was seen as a shrewd move, he quietly returned the medals and only responded when the media got wind of it. Even then, he played it coy, falling back on satire and irony to make his point.

Then he and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali went off on a date night to watch the latest Star Wars movie. He was telling everyone: No problem, I’m cool about it.

“Tuanku’s rebuke was not surprising given the increased frequency and intensity of royal households conveying their views directly to the press. But returning the awards and stressing he is undeserving of them was political theatrics. He could have just apologised but he wanted to make a point by reacting in gesture rather than engage in a war of words,” said political risk analyst Amir Fareed Rahim.

The Opposition crowd liked the bravado and a DAP politician from Sarawak posted on Facebook: “My gosh, I love his level of sarcasm. Seriously, he is a maverick politician and I like it! Don’t play-play with this smart old man.”

The subtext to it is that they approved of the way he is taking on the royals.

Dr Mahathir has always come across as this larger than life kind personality who thrives on chaos and is always picking fights, be it with countries like America and Singapore or, closer to home, with his deputies and successors.

Yet, in person, he is soft-spoken, gentlemanly and talks sense unlike when he is on the ceramah stage making outlandish claims about his adversaries.

Politicians talk a lot of rubbish on the ceramah stage and get away with it. But when it comes to Dr Mahathir, everything he says is taken in a different context and that can become problematic.

But make no mistake, beneath that charismatic smile and sharp wit is a steel-willed man, for whom it has always been my way or the highway. He is determined not to kowtow to the palace.

Umno has capitalised on the issue. Selangor Umno held a big demonstration to defend Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and to oppose Zaid. Two days later, an Umno delegation handed over a declaration of support for the Sultan at the palace gates.

“Mahathir is used to winning, right from the time when he was small fry fighting Tunku Abdul Rahman. But God is testing him in his old age,” said Kapar Umno division chief Datuk Faizal Abdullah who took part in the protest.

Dr Mahathir’s partners in DAP have been watching the whole saga with some unease. DAP is still struggling to shake off the perception that it is anti-Malay and anti-Islam. It is a case of damned if they speak and damned if they don’t.

“We have to handle it delicately. Mahathir is on the wane, the palace is on the rise,” said a Pakatan politician.

DAP leaders are unable to openly empathise with Zaid, let alone defend him. However, Lim Kit Siang and two other party leaders dropped by at Zaid’s Tropicana Golf & Country Resort home after he lamented that he was not getting support from his friends.

Zaid is not in a good place at the moment, his political career is in question. The Sultan asked him to return to Kelantan and the Selangor Umno protesters asked him to “berambus” (get lost) and portrayed him as a “kuda tunggangan DAP” or DAP operative.

“I doubt if he can stand on a DAP ticket, the party will be seen as having an ulterior motive,” said the above Pakatan politician.

The powers of Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy is not always as clear-cut as it should be and many politicians have problems negotiating their steps.

Pakatan leaders see Dr Mahathir as their passport to the Malay heartland votes. They cannot afford for him to be at loggerheads with the Malay Rulers and challenging a pillar of Malay cultural identity.

Dr Mahathir’s palace problems are a hangover from his tough love approach towards the Sultans during his days at the top. He has not been completely forgiven for amending the Constitution to, first, strip them of their legal immunity in 1991, and then taking away their veto power on legislation in 1993.

He is persona non grata with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V. He was not on the guest list when Sultan Muhammad was sworn in as the new King last year nor was he invited for the grand installation ceremony.

The Sultan of Johor’s feelings about Dr Mahathir is public knowledge by now. Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar made a strong speech in conjunction with his 59th birthday that was widely seen to be targeted at Dr Mahathir.

A month ago, the Johor Sultan gave his blessing to the design of the Rapid Transit System track that will link Johor and Singapore. It will be a straight bridge rather than the original curved design which the Sultan said would affect the Johor skyline.

No one wanted to say it out loud but the original design had hints of the crooked bridge that was said to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Dr Mahathir.

Are the Malays bothered about all this?

“What matters is bread and butter issues although there is still a high degree of deference towards the royals among Malays. That’s why Mahathir is treading carefully and choosing his words after the Bugis fiasco. He can’t risk upsetting the royals too much.

“The royal households are important stakeholders in a government, Mahathir knows their importance in high-level politics especially when forming governments at state level and choosing the Mentri Besar. The blessing and confidence of the monarch is crucial in closely-contested elections and in the event of hung assemblies,” said Amir.

According to political commentator Dr Azmi Omar, Dr Mahathir’s strained ties with the Sultans will not cost him many votes among the Malays.

“But it is not going to win him more Malay votes either and that could be a problem for his coalition,” said Dr Azmi.



Majority of the Malays, still uphold the defining values of the Malays. They adhere strongly to the teachings of Islam and tradition and heritage of Malay-Muslim, which is respecting the feudalism of the Malay Rulers regardless how they disagree with it.

Recently, at the UMNO AGM Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak strongly pronounce that the nationalist party, stooped deep in Malay-Muslim traditions and values have never had an iota of anti-Chinese sentiments.

UMNO itself survived the crisis which Dr. Mahathir engineered almost three years ago with the objective of removing Prime Minister Najib as President, actually came out stronger and now fortified.

Within that time, the provocation of Dr. Mahathir and his Opposition cohorts even brought a few of HRH Rulers to sound out against the 92 year old machiavellian politician and all the anti-Malay and anti-Islam innuendoes.

The subliminal messages of HRH Rulers are for keeping the harmony and inter-racial understanding, respect and co-operationg in tact.

This is very much inline with Barisan Nasional’s consistencies. Under Prime Minister Najib, BN led Government is even working harder to narrow the gap and foster the principles upheld by the founding fathers.

This is not withstanding UMNO’s policy and struggle of developing the Malays, for the betterment f the whole nation.

Published in: on December 18, 2017 at 23:00  Comments (1)  

Broadsides steaming

UMNO President Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak isn’t the First Sea Lord who is the sort busy with charts and meteorological reports whilst part of his his steward’s duty to stock up on gin, rum and the best of Portuguese Port whence the other admirals confer.

He calculated this the past two years and updated the variables so that when all the 44 gunners are out to do battle, he can exactly tell them what to do, when to do it whilst taking the advantage of the weather, time and other elements.

The Star weekly political columnist Joceline Tan:

Set for mother of all elections


Blue wave: The last Umno general assembly before the general election saw delegates turning up in a fiery red on the opening day and forming a sea of blue on the closing day.

Blue wave: The last Umno general assembly before the general election saw delegates turning up in a fiery red on the opening day and forming a sea of blue on the closing day.

The enemy line is clearly drawn, there are no more undercurrents and Umno wants to present itself as the party of the future at the polls. But can it come up with winnable candidates? 

DATUK Seri Najib Tun Razak started the Umno general assembly with a fiery speech that was matched by a fierce speaking style. It was quite unlike him because he is a born gentleman.

But the Umno president is going to war and wars are not always won by gentlemen, hence, the fight mode on the first day.

However, delegates could see that, on the whole, he has been smiling and purring like one of his many cats at home.

Moreover, as far as general assemblies go, this one has been quite trouble-free.

The undercurrents are gone and those seated on the Umno stage were largely the president’s men. It was such a contrast to two years ago when there seemed to be a invisible sheet of ice separating the Umno No. 1 and his then No. 2. They did not talk, they did not even want to look at each other.

This year, Najib and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hugged like brothers on stage and they were chatting away as the debate was going on.

Some thought they were hamming it up for the delegates but Najib seems very comfortable with his Dr Ahmad Zahid, calling him “my longtime friend” and referring to him as the “de facto deputy president”.

The delegates have given their endorsement for Najib to hold on to his presidency and that Dr Ahmad Zahid should be the next deputy president without a contest. It was a major leg-up for the Deputy Prime Minister.

Dr Ahmad Zahid has passed through the door, the post is as good as his.

Supreme council member Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz – another longtime friend of Najib – played a big part in presenting a convincing argument at the supreme council meeting on Tuesday night. He said he did not want history to repeat because Barisan Nasional won big in 1986 but a few months later, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the presidency and the party broke into two.

Dr Ahmad Zahid was on a high and he led the delegates to take a pledge of loyalty to the party and president and to accept the leadership’s choice of winnable candidates in the coming months.

Of course, some have asked what is the point of democratising the election process and then locking up the contest for the top posts? But with the top posts confirmed, the party can now move on to the business of fighting the general election.

Vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein made it a point to support the no-contest move. It was to signal that he is thinking of the party rather than himself, that he is not impatient.

Dr Ahmad Zahid reciprocated by insisting that Hishammuddin get a free pass for one of the three vice-president posts. But there is no precedent for that and it remained a personal opinion.

Another subtle but equally interesting development was taking place on the sidelines.

The First Lady and the Second Lady-to-be were seen together for the first time in years. They sat side-by-side throughout the three days as they followed the proceedings.

No one could quite tell what the problem had been between Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis but the ice seems to be thawing even though the body language has yet to warm up.

Many had expected another intense round of bashing the opposition when the debates started. But there was hardly any mention of Dr Mahathir among the speakers even though they are totally cheesed off by what he is doing as the leader of the opposition coalition.

Journalists were puzzled that there was no mention at all of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir given how the 3Ms had loomed over the party gathering last year.

“There was no need to talk about them anymore, every single person in our party understands that they (the 3Ms) are now the enemy, full stop. As our president said during his opening speech, Mahathir has crossed the line. We cannot support a man who is trying to destroy Umno,” said Faizal.

The Mahathir baggage has been exported to the opposition. The conversation in Umno these days is that they are not afraid to face an opposition that is led by a 92-year-old man from the past.

As a result, the debates were about highlighting the achievements and success stories of the Barisan Nasional government.

Umno leaders are fed-up with the opposition which has been running down the Government non-stop since 2008.

The debates trumpeted what the Government had done, from big ticket policies like affordable housing, BR1M and infrastructure projects to grants for traders, scholarships and policies to help small farmers.

They also debunked false accusations and fake news propagated by the other side. Their objective is to show that Malaysia is not a failed state nor is it headed for bankruptcy as claimed by Dr Mahathir.

The more erudite among them spoke about Malaysia’s 6.2% growth rate, that the World Economic Forum has named Malaysia as the region’s top emerging nation.

It was obvious that speakers had been instructed to steer away from controversial issues or make unseemly remarks about the other races.

The party wants to woo the “persuadable voters,” their term for voters who can still be persuaded to choose Barisan. They do not want to turn off potential support with harsh words and mud-slinging.

The persuadable voters include people like civil servants and people who have benefitted from government policies.

“We used to assume that they would support us no matter what but we cannot assume anymore. We need to reach out to them, send the right message,” said Faizal.

The assembly was also about reminding everyone that although the Umno of today is a far cry from the Umno of yesterday, it is still a big tent for the Malays.

There are many Umno politicians who are in it for the position, connections and contracts. And while the party makes a big show of standing up on big issues like religion, race and the Malay Rulers, it is the party’s efforts for the small man that keeps it relevant.

This came out well when Azlieza Azizan, a raspy voiced Puteri Umno leader from the Tangga Batu division in Melaka spoke emotionally about her family’s ties with the party. Her touching account about growing up as the daughter of an army commando, going to school in an army truck and her faith in her party won her huge cheers.

Jumawi Jaffar, the Umno Youth chief for Tenom in Sabah, has a reputation as a grassroots man. He is closely connected to where he comes from and spoke knowledgeably of land issues and the hardship of farmers.

Jumawi was among those arrested by the MACC for questioning in connection to the Rural and Regional Ministry’s distribution of funds when it was under Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal. He seems to have emerged unscathed, and his proposal for the Government to set up a council on costs of living was promptly accepted by the party.

The debates were meant to build up a sense of success and a feel-good mood.

But Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin injected some reality into the euphoria by reminding everybody that the world is changing so rapidly and the fourth industrial revolution has arrived.

He said the next election will determine the destiny of the party and if Umno is to survive, it has to present itself as the party of the future and the Barisan Nasional manifesto has to unveil a new social deal for the new generation.

Going by Najib’s closing speech, it was clear that his aim this year was to secure a consensus and pledge from his party on the thorny question of choosing candidates for the general election. The division warlords are a traditional hindrance to introducing fresh and capable people to contest.

He explained that the Government had put in place the blueprint for the future, the economy is on track and what he needs now to win the election is the mandate to pick winnable candidates.

Or as Khairy put it: “Let the candidates in the general election reflect the future.”

This was what the general assembly was building up to.

“I’ve seen it all and I’m telling you, the mood was very high this time,” said Nazri.

There were countless standing ovations throughout the three days, especially when speakers beat the election war drum.

There was also a new confidence. Three years ago, delegates had arrived at PWTC unsure whether their party would still be in power after the next general election. They went home confident not only of winning, but of doing better than in 2013.



The spirit is up. Confidence level is good. Field and section leaders have been briefed and trained. Party is ready as it could possibly get. Bit by bit, supplies for units to do battle have started rolling in.

However, as a leader who is very mush a grassroots operative and operational network is strong, De Facto Deputy President Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had some very important world caution.

Utusan story:

Jangan terperangkap serangan saat akhir pembangkang

Kuala Lumpur 9 Dis. - naib Presiden UMNO yang menjalankan tugas-tugas
Naib Presiden UMNO yang menjalankan tugas-tugas Timbalan Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi menyampaikan ucapan penggulungan di Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2017, hari ini. – UTUSAN ONLINE

KUALA LUMPUR 9 Dis. – Datuk seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hari ini mengingatkan seluruh ahli UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN) supaya tidak terperangkap dengan strategi serangan mengejut saat-saat akhir (SLMA) pembangkang pada Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU-14)nanti.

Menurut Zahid yang juga Naib Presiden UMNO yang menjalankan tugas-tugas Timbalan Presiden, serangan mengejut tersebut jika tidak ditangani dengan bijak boleh mengalihkan sokongan pengundi kepada BN dan pernah berlaku pada PRU-13 dahulu.

“KIta harus hidu awal isu dan pembohongan yang dimainkan oleh strategis pembangkang.

“Kita letak tanggungjawab kepada Biro Penerangan, Biro Teknologi Maklumat dan unit media sosial sedia jawapan dan serang balas dengan cepat,” katanya ketika berucap pada sesi penggulungan ucapan sempena Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2017 di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra hari ini.

Dalam ucapan itu, Ahmad Zahid turut mengingatkan ahli UMNO supaya tidak berasa selesa dengan kekuatan yang ada pada parti hari ini.

“Jika ada dalam minda kita, pertandingan dua penjuru akan bagi kelebihan, itu tidak tepat, kerana disesetangah kawasan ia tidak akan menguntungkan kita. Biar pun kita berharap pertandingan dua penjuru, ada kawasan dilihat terdapat risikonya.

“Oleh itu parti harus dikukuh dari dalam dan bukan bergantung kepada kelemahan pembangkang. Pembangkang hidup atas isu tetapi BN bergerak atas asas agenda,” katanya. – UTUSAN ONLINE

Artikel Penuh:
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd


GEIC for NSTP Group Dato’ A Jalil Hamid observed “UMNO members are fired and ready to go as the momentum on very much on Prime Minister Najib’s side.

NST story:

With the Umno assembly over and done with, the next few weeks will be equally critical as top BN leaders prepare the election line-up, work on the manifesto and gear up their BN election machinery.

THE mantra, “fired up, ready to go!”, could perfectly sum up the mood as Umno wrapped up its last annual general assembly yesterday before the next general election.

There were also a lot of football analogies in the winding-up speeches of party leaders amid an air of optimism, despite the fact they are bracing for the “father” of all elections, widely expected by April.

Puteri Umno chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin started the ball rolling when she said Umno should borrow the Liverpool football club anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone, in reference to party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, knowing very well that Najib supports the rival team, Manchester United.

In jest, Najib responded by saying that the title of the song could be changed to “You are Not Alone” or “I am not alone”.

The five-day party caucus proved that Najib is not alone, his position is unshakeable and his grip of the party is the firmest ever.

In his hour-long closing remarks, he sounded the war drums, managed the expectations of aspiring election candidates, attacked his main political enemies and reiterated his government’s proven track record of managing the nation.

In a direct reference to his main adversary, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Najib said a certain “93-year-old” even wanted to be the prime minister again when the “somebody from the past doesn’t even represent the future”.

“You can’t accept the man of the past with ideas of the past,” Najib said, adding that the ageing and once powerful Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe had even quit politics.

He said DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, labelled by his ex-party members as a “dictator”, also wants to be the prime minister.

Najib said the party of the future for 32 million Malaysians is Umno and the Umno-led government has a complete development agenda, unlike the opposition front.

After the tumultuous period in 2015, the house of Umno is in order, internal dissent is almost nil. Najib said most main issues that could derail the party had been settled.

“It is a done deal,” he said, referring to the no-contest resolution for the No. 1 and the No. 2 posts in the party and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. Hisham will be the most senior V-P of the three elected V-Ps.

Najib is backed by his two staunch loyalists — long-time friend and de facto Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Hisham, as he leads BN into the elections for the second time.

Najib shared an untold story of how he beat the odds to help Zahid when the latter faced a tough Umno Youth divisional election for Bagan Datuk in the mid-1980s. Zahid won by just 11 votes.

He said Zahid later came to his rescue after Najib sacked his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in 2015. “Susah senang mesti bersama,” Najib said.

The issue of Baitulmaqdis being proposed as the capital of Israel was a rallying point at the assembly.

Najib said he will voice Malaysia’s strong opposition at the emergency OIC summit in Istanbul on Dec 13.

Zahid, in his speech, spoke about his undivided loyalty to Najib while Hishammuddin said Umno leaders and members must put party interests first and that all must work towards winning GE14.

The role and contributions of the wings are also key in Umno’s polls preparations.

Wanita leader Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin made an open plea for more women and youth representatives to be named as election candidates.

As she spoke, women delegates showed the three-finger hand sign, signifying her wing’s request for women to fill 30 per cent of key positions in government, GLCs and politics.

Khairy said being a party of the future, Umno must behave like one.

Candidates, he said, must meet the 2017 criteria, the party’s look and feel must reflect its vitality and there must be fresh narratives that appeal to the young.

“There should be one eye for the present and one eye on the future,” Khairy said. “The world is fast changing now.”

During his winding-up speech, Khairy spoke of the task given to him by Najib to gather views and inspirations of the young as part of the TN50 National Dialogue.

The work under the 2050 national transformation proved that BN is a government of the future, he said.

Analysts said the main question is whether the Umno-led BN can really win back the supermajority, given that it failed to do so in 2013 when GE13 was already dubbed the “Mother of All Elections”.

“Nobody really knows how the critical fence-sitters will vote,” says Yang Razali Kassim, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Reading between the lines of the statements of Najib and Zahid, he said it is this “third group of persuadable voters” who will decide whether BN returns to power, or if there will be a political change.

“In other words, the big battle ahead will be over the fence-sitters; they may well decide the future of the country.”

KRA Group political analyst Amir Fareed Rahim said the major narratives emerging from the general assembly are about focusing on winning comfortably in GE14, putting aside differences and minimising sabotage within the party.

He also said that the certainty in Umno’s leadership with regard to the top two posts stands in stark contrast to the situation in Pakatan Harapan.

With the Umno assembly over and done with, the next few weeks will be equally critical as top BN leaders prepare the election line-up, work on the manifesto and gear up their election machinery.

As Najib publicly admitted, the winning momentum is in BN’s favour.

His subtle message to delegates is to avoid backstabbing and respect the party’s decision on the choice of candidates.

There will be a more stringent selection of candidates, he said. Since every seat counts, the candidates have to be winnable, acceptable and likeable.

There are no targets being discussed openly but BN would definitely want to do better than it did in the last GE in 2013.


The momentum of UMNO members which include those at grassroots being ‘fired up’ has been burning for a bit now. The Special UMNO Commemoration on 11 May 2017 at Bukit Jalil Stadium was a manifest to that.

One interesting bit about this years’s UMNO AGM is that UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin proclaimed that he and his UMNO You Youth machinery have engaged over two million stakeholders, mainly the youth and younger of Malaysians as part of Prime Minister Najib’s ‘TN 50’ agenda.

Prime Minister Najib himself been in so many stages and ‘town hall’ meets to engage various stakeholders in getting their input for the necessary transformation ingredients for the TN 50 policy.

This part of UMNO’s agenda of rejuvenating itself as the primary helmsmen in driving the nation forward.

This policy of ‘people inclusion’ to draw what Malaysia and its component by 2050 is a clear demonstration of the engaging attitude of Prime Minister Najib’s leadership, towards moving forward and arriving to the Big Picture.

In his rebuttal speech UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin announced that special offering would be included as part of BN”s 14 GE manifesto. which itself be somewhat of a magnet for the young to be attracted and support BN.

All and in sundry, UMNO’s fleet has never been more ready considering the combined enemies and elements against it.


Published in: on December 10, 2017 at 09:58  Comments (1)  

Sum of All Success Stories

UMNO President Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak sums up all the transformation plan he embarked when he took over eight and half years ago, and systematically listed down the development plan for the people.

It was his rebuttal speech at the end of UMNO AGM for 2017 at PWTC.

Prime Minister Najib proven to over 4,000 UMNO delegates that his crony-free administration, brought forth positive results at lower cost, compared to the practices during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad”s 22 years leadership.

It was almost a complement on UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s ‘Dr Mahathir Bashig’ a few days earlier. during his keynote address to the UMNO Youth Meeting.

The perfect example is the RM2 billion savings of the over RM40 billion SBK line MRT system, which MOF implemented a “Carve out and compete” policy to deserving Bumiputera firms.

The massive infrastruture project, which mainly used German engineering and technology had 48% local content.

Party confidence and stability has been greatly improved, after the serious internal issues upon the sacking of then Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin in July 2015.

Exactly two years ago, Dr. Mahathir tried to instigate the undercurrents of UMNO delegates through several Divisions’ delegates for the 2015 AGM, to create a snowballl effect with the objective to pressure Prime Minister Najib to leave.

It failed miserably.

Dr. Mahathir left UMNO and Muhyiddin and Mukhriz Mahathir was sacked from the party. The dramatic exercise also failed to create the ripple Dr. Mahathir was hoping to get.

Taken there were many bickering undercurrents within UMNO then and proven it had no traction as over the next two years, it died of natural causes.

It is obvious UMNO delegates’is  closure of this year’s UMNO AGM with a pumped up spirit, ahead of facing the upcoming 14GE.




Published in: on December 9, 2017 at 23:00  Leave a Comment  

Post-partum Premiera Presto Persona Non Grata

Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed currently in a so many boiling caldrons of boiling oil of late when every single maenuevre he tried in the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Mohd. Najib Tun Razak by incessanly sowing hatred failed and back fired.

The Star story:

Sultan only rebuked Dr M after getting all the facts

SHAH ALAM: Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (pic) held his tongue and only hit out at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad three weeks after the former premier’s perceived insult of the Bugis community.

“I was on my way to perform the umrah when I got to know about the remarks.

“I did not want to react blindly. I waited until I returned and spoke to different people who were there and who knew what actually happened. I only spoke after that,” he said.

Tuanku’s subsequent rebuke to Dr Mahathir for alluding to the Bugis community as pirates made waves.

The Council said historical facts prove that the Selangor Sultanate descended from the Bugis, who were warriors who defended Islam and peace throughout the Malay archipelago.

Another Ruler of Bugis descent, Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, was previously reported to have expressed his displeasure over Dr Mahathir’s remarks.

He said such callous statements made by politicians could sow seeds of hatred among the people.

Sultan Sharafuddin said yesterday that the controversy should not have happened.

“Those who support him say I am influenced by people who are anti-Mahathir.

“That is untrue. We must have proof. He ruled for 22 years. He should know better,” said Tuanku.

Asked if Dr Mahathir has apologised to him, Tuanku replied: “He never apologises.”

Tuanku said Dr Mahathir is not the type of leader who would allow others to do better.

“He has an inferiority complex and a deep hatred within him. He is just angry and his anger will burn the whole country,” said Sultan Sharafuddin.

Asked whether the royals were taking revenge for Dr Mahathir’s move to curtail the Sultans’ powers in the 1980s, he said: “No, we do not believe in revenge. God is great. He will show to the people.

“Back then my father told me, today is his day, tomorrow will be our day.”

He recalled Dr Mahathir had claimed that too much money was spent to maintain the monarchy.

But, Tuanku asked: “What about the forex losses? It is so much more.”

On Thursday, the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s findings on Bank Negara Malaysia’s losses due to foreign exchange (forex) dealings in the 1990s were tabled in Parliament.

The dealings, between 1992 and 1994, resulted in losses amounting to RM31.5bil.

Sultan Sharafuddin said Dr Mahathir ruled for 22 years but he did not do so alone as he was supported by parties that stood solidly behind him.

“For Dr Mahathir to want to destroy the foundations that supported him, makes him a very dangerous man,” said the Sultan.



HRH Tuanku Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor came much later from Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Dr. Mahathir’s speech at Anti-Kleptokrasi Rally in Petaling Jaya Utara on 14 October 2017.

The Straits Times story:

Indonesian V-P Jusuf Kalla wants Mahathir to apologise for Bugis remark



Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the statement by Tun Mahathir was not only insulting to the Bugis community in Malaysia, but also to those in Indonesia.
Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the statement by Tun Mahathir was not only insulting to the Bugis community in Malaysia, but also to those in Indonesia. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (BERNAMA) – Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla wants Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to apologise over his statement linking the ancient seafaring Bugis people to pirates.

According to the Antara  news agency, Mr Kalla said the statement by Tun Mahathir was not only insulting to the Bugis community in Malaysia, but also to those in Indonesia.

“Firstly, as a Bugis person, I am protesting and shocked. Dr Mahathir should apologise. Because the Bugis are not just in South Sulawesi, but throughout Indonesia, even in Malaysia,” he said in Jakarta on Tuesday (Nov 7).

In his speech at a rally organised by opposition parties in Petaling Jaya on Oct 14, Dr Mahathir reportedly described Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as a “Bugis pirate”.

Dr Mahathir has said his comments were targeted at those with Bugis ancestry who stole people’s money, referring to the alleged mismanagement of billions of dollars by state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in which Datuk Seri Najib has denied all wrongdoing.

On Nov 2, the Sultan of Selangor, who also has Bugis ancestry, urged the authorities to investigate Dr Mahathir for sedition over his remarks.

On Nov 6, Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said as part of his responsibility to preserve harmony between the two countries, he had taken the initiative to send a letter to Dr Mahathir on Oct 23 urging him to take the necessary steps to clear the air between Malaysia and Indonesia.

However, he said, in a letter dated Nov 1, Dr Mahathir not only did not apologise, but he continued to slander Mr Najib.

He added that Dr Mahathir’s remarks upset the Bugis people in Indonesia, resulting in the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta increasing security at its premises.

He said the embassy on Oct 20 received a memorandum from the Indonesian Makassar Bugis Youth Association, stating its anger at Dr Mahathir’s statement.


Considering all these remarks by very strategic personalities around the region, who at one time provided the Malay power base and rule of these waters, the utter shambles Dr. Mahathir show no remorse of his faux pas. It is very unMalay and reflective of utmost arrogance and poor understanding of the Melayu-Nusantara culture to ignore as if it is part of the normal business in politics.

Then again, there is not the only poisoning brewing in Dr. Mahathir’s camp. His parti, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia which was approval by Registrar of Society in August last year has yet to get organised and do the necessary meetings, as required by its own Constitution.

The NST story:

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia have been urged to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) by year-end or risked being deregistered by Registry of Societies (RoS). ADI SAFRI

PUTRAJAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) may be deregistered if it fails to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) by the end of the year, the Registry of Societies (RoS) has warned today.

RoS director-general Surayati Ibrahim said PPBM’s constitution stipulates that the party is not allowed to delay its AGM.

“They should be able to recall how Umno was deregistered and banned in 1988 for violating its party constitution and the Societies Act,” she said during a press conference here today.

Surayati, who was responding to PPBM’s application to delay its AGM, said the party may face “serious punishments”, including deregistration, if it continues to violate its own constitution.

She also refuted the legitimacy of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held by PPBM on Nov 2 2016.

She said this was because the EGM was only attended by 12 of PPBM’s supreme council members, according to the minutes of the meeting.

Surayati also said PPBM’s decision to amend its constitution during last year’s EGM was invalid.

“Chapter 28 of the party’s constitution stipulates that certain conditions must be met before the constitution can be amended.”

She said under PPBM’s constitution, any amendments to the party constitution must be agreed upon by no less than two-thirds of the party’s delegates during an AGM or EGM.

On a related matter, Surayati said the RoS has looked into other issues that affected PPBM’s status as a registered party.

She said this includes the setting up of PPBM’s Armada (Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda) youth wing despite it not being mentioned in the party’s constitution.

She said RoS investigated the legality of Armada after receiving complaints from former members who were supposedly sacked by Armada chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman.

“They (the former members) felt cheated after checking PPBM’s constitution, where the term Armada does not exist.

“We have received similar complaints from 33 party members,” she said.

Surayati reiterated that the setting up of Armada and Srikandi, PPBM’s women wing, were not mentioned in the party’s constitution and could lead to the deregistration of PPBM.

She said the RoS wanted to clear the air on PPBM’s status to avoid the impression that the party is being treated unfairly.

Surayati made it clear that the people should look at PPBM’s constitution before hurling accusations against RoS,

“RoS will not hesitate to take legal action against such people,” she warned.

On another matter, Surayati declined to comment on the status of Pakatan Harapan’s application to register itself as a political party.

On DAP’s recently concluded central executive committee (CEC) re-election, she said RoS has yet to receive a report on the election results from the party.

On Thursday, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that PPBM’s failure to hold AGMs at the division, branch and central levels was due to its poor organisational structure.

Dr Mahathir, who is PPBM chairman, had said the party’s branches and divisions failed to hold meetings despite allegedly having many members.

He had revealed that the branches were the most disorganised section of the party, which was founded in September last year.


PPBM is facing a lot of problems at branch level to hold its first AGM, so that the division level could start to convene.

The party faces the risk of extinction even before it could fly off the nest and engage other creatures, purely by its own incompetencies which is made worse by infighting of nepotism and favouritism,

The inability of PPBM and DAP to sort out its internal affairs and facing complains upon complains to the ROS, despite the latter finally able to held its ‘dodgy’ CEC elections relocation is manifested in the inability of Opposition pack Pakatan Harapan be registered as coalition party, a mirror of Barisan Nasional.

A skeleton in the closet is finally out when the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the Bank Negara Malaysia forex loses (reported to Parliament at RM5.7b) but revealed at the RCI for RM31.5b, which has been presented to His Majesty SPB YDP Agong V was distributed in Parliament last week.

The RCI Secretary was quick to make a police report based on the 400 page findings and asked the Police to investigate for any crimes involved,

The Star story:

Mahathir, Anwar and Nor Mohamed implicated over BNM forex losses


Important report: RCI Secretary Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail speaking to media after submitting a police report over Bank Negara forex trade losses in Putrajaya.

Important report: RCI Secretary Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail speaking to media after submitting a police report over Bank Negara forex trade losses in Putrajaya.

THE Royal Commission of Inquiry into the foreign exchange losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) back in 1990s has recommended that three people be probed over their involvement and liability.

They are former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his then finance minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and ex-Bank Negara advisor Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, whom the report also named as “principally liable for criminal breach of trust”.

The 524-page report also called out Tun Daim Zainuddin, who served as finance minister from July 14, 1984 to March 15, 1991, for having aided and abetted Nor Mohamed by leaving BNM “to its own devices”.

The commission found that the Cabinet in the 1990s was not given the full picture by Anwar on the forex losses, adding that he had “deliberately concealed facts and information and made misleading statements”.

“It is also of the opinion that the then prime minister (Dr Mahathir) had condoned the actions of the finance minister,” it said.

The RM31.5bil losses, it said, were hidden using “unconventional accounting treatments”, such as booking losses to reserves in the balance sheet and the absorption of the remaining losses by the transfer of shares from the Government to BNM as well as the creation of a “Deferred Expenditure” to be repaid in instalments over a decade.


“All the actions to conceal the losses were discussed and approved by the board of directors before the accounts were signed off by the Auditor-General.

“No further action was taken by the Finance Minister and Treasury secretary-general (as a board member) despite being informed by the Auditor-General on the losses and the unusual accounting treatments,” said the report.

Anwar, noted the Commission, had been informed about the actual forex losses suffered by BNM.

Dr Mahathir, it said, was informed by Anwar together with then Treasury deputy secretary-general Tan Sri Clifford Francis Herbert in late 1993 that BNM had suffered estimated losses of RM30bil on the forex dealings for 1992 and 1993.

However, in the extract of minutes from three Cabinet meetings on March 30, April 6 and 13 in 1994, Anwar had made “no mention of the actual losses of RM12.3bil for 1992 and RM15.3bil for 1993.”

Anwar had chaired the March 30 meeting as the deputy prime minister. The losses for 1993 were reported as RM5.7bil.

“The prime minister, who chaired the meeting on April 6, did not correct or offer more information when the forex losses for 1993 were recorded as only RM5.7bil,” it pointed out.

“The Commission is of the view that it is the finance minister’s responsibility to inform the Cabinet the significant financial affairs about BNM as the Cabinet has collective responsibility with the finance minister and the prime minister for the country’s affairs.”

Dr Mahathir, it said, claimed to have no knowledge of the real amount of losses, which was untenable with his meticulous nature, as well as that under the law, BNM was the banker and financial agent to the Government with the remainder of its net profit to be paid into the Federal Consolidated Fund.

The report said as pointed out by Herbert, he had expected Dr Mahathir to be outraged but his reaction was quite normal with him uttering “sometimes we make profit, sometimes we make losses”.

“His reaction to and acceptance of the huge forex losses suggest that he could have been aware of the forex dealings and its magnitude,” said the report.

The RCI also found Dr Mahathir’s claim that he could only remember the amount of RM5bil forex losses when informed about it in a meeting with Anwar and Herbert in late 1993 to be “questionable”.

It said this was because based on testimonies of other witnesses and documentary evidence, the RM5.7bil only surfaced when Bank Negara’s 1993 annual report was presented to the Cabinet on March 30, 1994.

“Despite his denials, the Commission is of the opinion that a thorough investigation should be carried out to determine the extent of his involvement and liability,” said the report.



This is a very interesting case for Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim (then Minister if Finance) t0 answer for since BNM wiped cleaned its free currency reserve to the streams of failed gable against the high rollers.

The depletion of foreign currency reserves, which was never reported in the annual BNM report, opened the high risk against the attack on MYR.

On the Mahathirists hangers-on that 1MBD is actually a he claimed to be a “A crime of Kleptocracy” where there are elements of “Theft, Criminal Breach of Trust, Cheating and Falsification of Documentation (at unforseen level!) and International Money Laundering”, the fact is that nothing materially progressed such US AG Loretta Lynch’s explosive announcement to July ago.

The announcement was repeated the same time July tis year. However, no criminal charge or manoeuvres of such exercise are being seen to be conducted by any of the US law enforcement agencies.

This was explained by a practitioner of the US Supreme Court Appellate Barrister Thomas Goldstein yesterday.

The Mole story:

DoJ’s 1MDB probe at a standstill


Appellate Advocate to the US Supreme Court, Thomas Goldstein.

Appellate Advocate to the US Supreme Court, Thomas Goldstein.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

SHAH ALAM – December 4, 2017: An attorney of the United States Supreme Court has noted that the US  Department of Justice’s (DoJ) probe against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is now at a standstill.

According to Thomas Goldstein, both the DoJ’s civil and criminal investigations into the Malaysian sovereign fund have not yielded much so far.

“There is a parallel civil and criminal proceeding against 1MDB but none has produced anything significant. In fact, the DoJ has requested a stay on the civil investigation so as to pursue the criminal investigation.

“But they haven’t named any criminal defendants, charges and targets. As for the stay application, I believe the DoJ just wanted to prevent the assets that they think are linked to 1MDB from being spent or sold,” said the experienced appellate advocate at a lecture on US criminal litigation at Universiti Teknologi Mara here today.

Last July the DoJ filed a civil forfeiture complaint to recover assets it said had been stolen from 1MDB – which the latter has consistently denied – through a convoluted web of transactions involving several individuals and financial institutions.

A civil forfeiture complaint is a legal tool that allows law enforcement officials to seize properties that they deem to have been involved in criminal activities. Unlike criminal proceedings, the burden of proof falls onto the accused,  who must then file an answer before 10 am in the court where the complaint was filed, on or before the first Monday after 20 days have passed.

Former US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch touted the case as one of the biggest asset recovery actions ever initiated in the country, amounting to more than USD$1 billion.

While stressing that the DoJ is not taking any legal action against any individual mentioned in the complaint, Goldstein said the complaint can, at times, become a prelude to a full-fledged criminal case.

“But the 1MDB-DoJ case isn’t an example of that. If a criminal case is to be developed from it, then it will be a classic criminal case.

“The DoJ will have to get an indictment from a grand jury and it will have to bring the criminal case to court and prove charges that are beyond reasonable doubt.

“While there is a parallel civil and criminal proceeding against 1MDB, the DoJ has yet to invoke any criminal processes in the US. No one has been identified as a criminal target, much less a senior government official,” he observed.


That is not all. It then on be reduced further, to unimaginable notion of trying to live the glory of the past borough forward for tomorrow, offering a better alternative when they themselves are grossly deprived of ideas and agendas to move the nation forward in the complex dynamics of the current pace factored into the globalisation gravy train.

Not withstanding that, the Opposition pack tried to hoodwink the voters with this announcement, that Dr Mahathir would be the interim Prime Minister if they win the 14GE.

The Malaysian Insight analysis:

Dr Mahathir for PM part of strategy to win rural Malay votes, analysts say

Bede Hong

Dr Mahathir for PM part of strategy to win rural Malay votes, analysts say
Analysts say the appointment of Pakatan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad as interim prime minister is a valid strategy to penetrate the rural Malays heartland, but may not sit well with youths. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, December 4, 2017.

NAMING Dr Mahathir Mohamad as interim prime minister is an obvious strategy aimed at benefitting Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) foray into rural Malay constituencies, say analysts.

The former prime minister and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail were named as interim prime minister and deputy prime minister respectively after a two-day coalition retreat in Putrajaya that ended on Saturday.

“If the pact is solely to penetrate rural Malay votes, it might just work,” said James Chin, executive director of Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania .

“Naming Dr Mahathir is a smart move as they are telling the Umno Malay voters, if you vote PH, you get the original Umno, not Najib’s Umno,” Chin said.

BN has long controlled the Malay-dominated Felda settlements, totalling 54 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia. Dr Mahathir, while he was prime minister for 22 years, was also president of Umno.

PH, led by Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir, 93, has been attempting to make inroads there by holding ceramah focusing on topics such as corruption and the 1Malaysia Development (1MDB) financial scandal.

Except for PKR, the other PH parties have agreed to the names should the coalition win the general election, which must be held by next August.

But Chin had a caveat when it came to the youth vote.

“The problem is, while Dr Mahathir appeals to Malays over 40, the younger Malays may not buy into him.

“Younger Malays think the most qualified persons in PH are Azmin and Rafizi,” said Chin, referring to Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who are PKR deputy president and vice-president, respectively.

“If younger malays were asked on this, I think they will not accept Dr Mahathir and Dr Wan Azizah. They want younger people,” Chin added.

Most opposition voters have already settled on Dr Mahathir as a transition figure, Chin added.

“The expectation is that he will be there until Anwar comes out of prison.”

Dr Mahathir was made PH chairman in July. Anwar, meanwhile, has been serving a five-year prison term since February 2015 for sodomy.

While nominating Dr Mahathir as prime minister may be the obvious strategy to win the Malay vote, PH may still have to put up stronger arguments to convince other supporters that he and Wan Azizan remained the best candidates, said Sivamurugan Pandian, a political analyst from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

“PKR members may still feel hurt because of the 1998 Anwar sacking incident and cannot support this recommendation,” he said, referring to the time when Anwar was deputy prime minister and sacked from government by Dr Mahathir.

The sacking, Anwar’s first sodomy conviction and the ensuing Reformasi movement, may still be fresh in the minds of many PKR members, Sivamurugan added.

“Many of those who support Dr Mahathir now were against him then. They (the leadership) may want to justify and rationalise the decision of naming him as interim PM.

“But more interesting will be: Where will Dr Mahathir contest in order to be eligible as PH’s prime minister candidate?” he added.

The age factor, however, should allay fears by Dr Mahathir’s detractors that the former prime minister will cling to power, said Wong Chin Huat, the Penang Institute political studies programme head.

“He is the least divisive choice for politics within PH. Given Dr Mahathir’s age, his interim nature is beyond question,” said Wong.

Due to his prominence in Malaysian politics, Dr Mahathir may be the only figure to draw in support from hardcore Umno and BN supporters.

“While Dr Mahathir’s candidacy may offend some for his adamant defence of his past rule, he also attracts a significant segment of voters who conventionally support Umno and BN only and would not support opposition unless there is some continuity. Dr Mahathir is the continuity in change which may make regime change easier to accept for Malay nationalists, the deep state and the Palace.”

“Ultimately, as in many party states, it will take someone from Umno to defeat Umno.

“BN’s greatest electoral upsets have always been caused by an opposition led by an ex-Umno supremo. In 1990, it was Tengu Razaleigh Hamzah. In 1999, 2008 and 2013, it was Anwar. This time, it has to be Dr Mahathir,” Wong said.

The Azmin-Mukhriz combo

One analyst who disagreed with PH’s move, was Universiti Malaysia Sarawak associate professor and political analyst Jeniri Amir, who said it would bring about negative repercussions to the opposition pact.

“I don’t think this is the right step by PH. (It will be) negative in terms of how the people as a whole perceive PH.

“Dr Mahathir has been up there for 22 years and now they want to put him back in that position again. His track record is not good in terms of good governance. A lot of scandals happened under his regime,” Jeniri said.

“There has to be better candidates than Dr Mahathir, who is now 93. Can’t they propose more dynamic leaders or are they so desperate that they feel that he is the only viable candidate?”

Jeniri proposed Azmin as interim prime minister and Mukhriz as his deputy.

“I think he (Azmin) has done a great job in Selangor. He is a dynamic and forward-looking leader.”

But Chin of the University of Tasmania said that the “Azmin-Mukhriz combo” would not work.

“Azmin only controls 60% of PKR while 40% is under Rafizi. And Mukhriz has no grassroots support. He is there because of Dr Mahathir,” Chin said, noting that Mukhriz resigned as Kedah menteri besar in February 2016 after state Umno leaders declared they had lost confidence in him as the state’s head of government and as state Umno liaison chief.

Jeniri said he expected BN to win the election, but with a reduced majority. As a strategy to win Malay votes, he felt naming Dr Mahathir as interim prime minister was less effective than dealing with bread and butter issues.

“As an incumbent government, BN has the money, the grassroots machinery and they control the media. PH is always talking about 1MDB, which is of less importance to the rural people. It’s still bread and butter issues there.” – December 4, 2017.


All and in sundry, to remain hopeful with Dr Mahathir with a wanker’s pathetic imagination, deprived of the realities of what life is really offering in the real world.

Published in: on December 5, 2017 at 10:00  Comments (2)