Das boot!

It is time for Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to sack failed Minister in-charge of Unity P Waythamoorthy, as Media Adviser to the Prime Minister Dato’ A Kadir Jasin also calls for the resignation.

NST story:

Waytha Moorthy should resign as minister – Kadir Jasin

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) chairman P. Waytha Moorthy should resign as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department due to his incapability in safeguarding the national unity.

The Scribe blog writer Datuk A Kadir Jasin in sharing the public sentiment on Waytha Moorthy said he had lost the confidence of the masses due to his action in promoting division among the people.

Kadir said Waytha Moorthy had become a ‘liability’ to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and advised the latter to voluntarily relinquish the ministerial post.

“I am now in full agreement with public sentiment that Waytha Moorthy had lost his credential and position to continue becoming a minister, more so a minister who is charge of the national unity.

“He has become a character who creates division. It is better for him to step down voluntarily rather than placing burden on Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite the latter’s assurance that he was okay (with his performance).

“I apologise for saying this, but (Waytha) Moorthy had been given the opportunity and the highest honour as a Cabinet member but he had wasted it,” said Kadir in his latest blog entry today.

Waytha Moorthy has come under fire following his statement which was deemed derogatory for alleging abuse of human rights involving the Indian community.

He had allegedly said Hindu temples in Malaysia were demolished without reason by the authorities and called for the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

Waytha Moorthy was also accused of fanning racial tension in the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple riots last month which claimed the life of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Kadir said the culprits must be tracked down and duly punished.

He said it was tragic for Muhammad Adib, who was merely carrying out his duty to save lives and properties, was caught in the crosshairs and paid dearly with his life.

“We could continue to fan our emotions and if we are being irresponsible, we may also fan people’s emotions in Adib’s name.

“However, is that what we really want; and particularly, is that what Adib would want when he chose to become a fireman and rescuer?

“There are always element of risks in any job that we choose. Adib was well aware of the risks,” he said.

Kadir said those who wish to help should instead look into assisting the victim’s parents.

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“I am now in full agreement with public sentiment that Waytha Moorthy had lost his credential and position to continue becoming a minister, more so a minister who is charge of the national unity.

“He has become a character who creates division. It is better for him to step down voluntarily rather than placing burden on Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite the latter’s assurance that he was okay (with his performance).

“I apologise for saying this, but (Waytha) Moorthy had been given the opportunity and the highest honour as a Cabinet member but he had wasted it,” said Kadir in his latest blog entry today.

Waytha Moorthy has come under fire following his statement which was deemed derogatory for alleging abuse of human rights involving the Indian community.

He had allegedly said Hindu temples in Malaysia were demolished without reason by the authorities and called for the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

Waytha Moorthy was also accused of fanning racial tension in the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple riots last month which claimed the life of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Kadir said the culprits must be tracked down and duly punished.

He said it was tragic for Muhammad Adib, who was merely carrying out his duty to save lives and properties, was caught in the crosshairs and paid dearly with his life.

“We could continue to fan our emotions and if we are being irresponsible, we may also fan people’s emotions in Adib’s name.

“However, is that what we really want; and particularly, is that what Adib would want when he chose to become a fireman and rescuer?

“There are always element of risks in any job that we choose. Adib was well aware of the risks,” he said.

Kadir said those who wish to help should instead look into assisting the victim’s parents.

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The subliminal message is about Kadir doing Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s bidding through media.

It’s a classic Dr. Mahathir act.

He is losing ground from the support and confidence of the Malay-Muslim majority, which has eroded substantially since leading the Pakatan Harapan in defeating Barisan Nasional 14GE seven months ago.

It is not like Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir coalition enjoyed the majority of Malay-Muslim votes at 14GE.

Now that PKR Chief Strategist Rafizi Ramli’s think tank organ INVOKE published that the support of the Malay-Muslim eroded a further 33% of seven months ago, the push is coming to the shove.

At this deficit point of even lower Malay-Muslim support, Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s Leadership is on a decline.

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Published in: on December 21, 2018 at 19:00  Leave a Comment  

Sack them!

All those supporters and/or admirers of Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and dismayed and deeply disturbed by the death of young fireman Adib Kassim, should sternly demand the immediate sacking of Cabinet Ministers P Wathyamoorthy, M Kulasegaran, Dr. Xavier Jayakumar and Selangor Exco P Ganabatirau without condition.

UMNO Youth demanded that they be charged.

The Star story:

Firefighter Adib’s death: Umno Youth wants four ministers to be charged


NATION

  • Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018

PETALING JAYA: Umno Youth is calling for the Attorney General to charge Ministers P. Waytha Moorthy, M. Kulasegaran, Gobind Singh Deo and Dr Xavier Jayakumar, as well as Selangor executive councillor V. Ganabatirau, over the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the five Indian leaders should be charged under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insults with intent to disrupt the peace.

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“Umno Youth once again urges P. Waytha Moorthy to resign as the Unity and Social Well-being Minister because not only did he fail to clear racial tensions, he flamed the anger of the Indian community by blaming the police over the fracas at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, leading to violent riots on the second night,” he said.

Dr Asyraf said as administrative members of the government, these ministers should avoid using racial sentiments in their statements.

He also called on the authorities to take swift action in prosecuting those responsible for the death of Muhammad Adib.

“Umno Youth wants the investigation and prosecution to be done transparently, fairly and without bias.

“Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done,” Dr Asyraf said in a statement Tuesday.

Umno Youth also urged the public to stay calm and avoid from igniting any racial or religious sentiments that could further exacerbate the situation.

Muhammad Adib, 24, passed away at 9.41pm at the National Heart Institute (IJN) on Monday (Dec 17).

His remains were brought back to his hometown in Kampung Tebengau, Kedah, for the funeral on Tuesday.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/12/18/firefighter-adibs-death-umno-youth-wants-four-ministers-to-be-charged/#UVj5KDtEIICyOc2f.99

PETALING JAYA: Umno Youth is calling for the Attorney General to charge Ministers P. Waytha Moorthy, M. Kulasegaran, Gobind Singh Deo and Dr Xavier Jayakumar, as well as Selangor executive councillor V. Ganabatirau, over the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the five Indian leaders should be charged under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insults with intent to disrupt the peace.

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“Umno Youth once again urges P. Waytha Moorthy to resign as the Unity and Social Well-being Minister because not only did he fail to clear racial tensions, he flamed the anger of the Indian community by blaming the police over the fracas at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, leading to violent riots on the second night,” he said.

Dr Asyraf said as administrative members of the government, these ministers should avoid using racial sentiments in their statements.

He also called on the authorities to take swift action in prosecuting those responsible for the death of Muhammad Adib.

“Umno Youth wants the investigation and prosecution to be done transparently, fairly and without bias.

“Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done,” Dr Asyraf said in a statement Tuesday.

Umno Youth also urged the public to stay calm and avoid from igniting any racial or religious sentiments that could further exacerbate the situation.

Muhammad Adib, 24, passed away at 9.41pm at the National Heart Institute (IJN) on Monday (Dec 17).

His remains were brought back to his hometown in Kampung Tebengau, Kedah, for the funeral on Tuesday.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/12/18/firefighter-adibs-death-umno-youth-wants-four-ministers-to-be-charged/#UVj5KDtEIICyOc2f.99

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If Prime Minister Dr Mahathir could sack public and civil servants and executives of GLC for abuse of power, corrupt practices and losses, on top of “Being a tool and accessory to a Kleptocratic Government”, then it is about blood now.

The Ministers and politicians with executive positions and already instrumental in the strategy of politics of sowing hatred and seditious remarks.

The Star story on Monday:

Dr Mahathir expresses grief over death of fireman Adib

Monday, 17 Dec 2018

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his deepest condolences on social media, voicing his grief over the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.  

“I am very sad to receive this news. May his soul be placed among the righteous. Takziah to the family of Allahyarham Muhammad Adib on his passing. Al-Fatihah,” the Prime Minister tweeted.  


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Like the civil servants and executives, it would take time to prove the cases against them.

Let the Police do their investigation of the death of Adib, now classified under Section 302 for murder.

However, an immediate course of action is very necessary to prevent further erosion of the spirit of unity and togetherness of tolerance and muhibah amongst Malaysians and the multi-ethnic multi-religious communities.

The demand for the resignation is too mild and grossly inadequate. They should be sacked and Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir should demonstrate his seriousness on the death of Adib, up and above his grief.

Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir has a duty to the nation. A man in His Majesty’s Service to preserve lives and property, horridly died in critical care after being pulled out from his service vehicle and lynched whilst in uniform by the roadside.

An eye for and eye. A tooth for a tooth.

*Updated 2300hrs

More calls for Minister Wathyamoorthy.

Former Deputy Minister and founder of pro-right pressure group PERKASA Dato’ Ibrahim Ali demanded for Wathyamoorty to be sacked.

So is Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s own party youth wing.

Malaysiakini story:

Pemuda Bersatu serah memorandum desak Waytha dipecat kepada Dr M

Memorandum itu antara lain berkata beliau gagal meredakan ketegangan kaum dalam isu Kuil Sri Maha Mariamman.

Pemuda Bersatu telah menyerahkan memorandum kepada Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohamad bagi menggesa pengguguran P Waythamoorthy sebagai menteri.

Menurut sumber dalaman Bersatu, memorandum itu diserahkan di pejabat Mahathir – yang juga pengerusi Bersatu – hari ini.

Antara sebab yang dinyatakan mereka bagi menggesa pemecatan Waythamoorthy adalah beliau selaku menteri bertanggungjawab terhadap soal perpaduan dilihat gagal meredakan ketegangan kaum dalam isu Kuil Sri Maha Mariamman dan Subang Jaya hujung bulan lalu.

Waythamoorthy juga disebut sebagai menyalahkan polis kerana didakwa tidak mengendalikan isu itu dengan baik, dan gagal meminta maaf berhubung video sepuluh tahun lalu yang memaparkannya dalm satu wawancara mengkritik apa yang disebutnya sebagai diskriminasi terhadap kaum minoriti, terutama India.

Difahamkan Ketua Pemuda Bersatu Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman turut ada ketika penyerahan memorandum itu.

Waythamoorthy menerima tekanan pelbagai pihak – termasuk dalam Pakatan Harapan (PH) – untuk meletakkan jawatan susulan kematian anggota bomba Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim dua hari lalu.

Allahyarham cedera parah ketika bertugas semasa kekecohan di kuil itu.

Selain itu, pungutan suara atas talian yang mendesak perkara sama juga telah mengumpul lebih 300,000 tanda tangan.

Sebelum ini, Waythamoorthy bersama tiga lagi menteri – M Kulasegaran, Gobind Singh Deo dan Dr Xavier Jayakumar – antara lain mendakwa polis tiba lambat di tempat kejadian ketika kekecohan tercetus.

Berkenaan rakaman video itu pula, Waythamoorthy menjelaskan ia dinyatakan dalam konteks yang sangat berbeza.

**********

It is expected the call for Minister Wathyamoorthy’s sacking would be compounded, especially in the wake of Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s sharp decline in popularity.

Utusan Malaysia story:

Populariti Tun Dr. Mahathir, PH menjunam

Populariti Tun Dr. Mahathir, PH menjunam

MAHATHIR MOHAMAD

MAHATHIR MOHAMAD

KUALA LUMPUR 19 Dis. – Kaji selidik bulanan yang dijalankan Invoke Malaysia (Invoke) mendedahkan populariti Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad dan Kerajaan Persekutuan sejak Pakatan Harapan (PH) mengambil alih jatuh merudum, berbanding di awal pentadbiran.

Bekas Naib Presiden PKR, Rafizi Ramli berkata, kaji selidik dua minggu lalu menunjukkan populariti Dr. Mahathir menjunam kepada 53 peratus sahaja berbanding 72 peratus pada Jun lalu.

Katanya, hasil kaji selidik itu mendapati penurunan mendadak sebanyak 20 peratus dalam kalangan responden daripada ketiga-tiga kaum iaitu Melayu daripada 66 peratus kepada 45 peratus, Cina (87 peratus kepada 65 peratus) dan India (84 peratus kepada 64 peratus).

“Saya terus mengikuti sentimen rakyat di bawah melalui kaji selidik bulanan dan profiling pengundi yang banyak membantu kempen PH di dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14. Komen netizen di portal berita utama secara terang-terang menunjukkan terasingnya rakyat Malaysia sesama sendiri.

“Setiap kumpulan kaum hidup di bawah tempurung sendiri. Kita tidak sedar perubahan ketara di dalam kumpulan kaum lain, kerana kita hanya bergaul sesama kaum sendiri. Saya bukanlah gemar membawa berita buruk, tetapi kalau ia benar ia tetap perlu disampaikan,” katanya menerusi blognya, rafiziramli.com.

Pada Jun lalu, 72 peratus responden yang ditanya menyatakan mereka gembira dengan prestasi Dr. Mahathir sebagai Perdana Menteri.

Responden Cina memberikan markah tertinggi iaitu 87 peratus, diikuti dengan responden India sebanyak 84 peratus manakala 66 peratus responden Melayu turut berpuas hati dengan prestasi beliau (dikira tinggi memandangkan PH tidak memenangi undi Melayu dalam PRU-14).

Rafizi sememangnya terkenal dengan kaji selidik sentimen yang dilakukan menerusi pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) Invoke yang diasaskan beliau.

Sebelum PRU-14, Rafizi menerusi Invoke meramalkan Pakatan Harapan mampu merampas tiga negeri daripada Barisan Nasional (BN) iaitu Kedah, Perak dan Johor dengan kedua-dua negeri tadbiran pakatan itu iaitu Selangor dan Pulau Pinang dikekalkan.

Ramalan itu ternyata tepat, malah PH juga berjaya menawan Melaka dan Negeri Sembilan. – UTUSAN ONLINE

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Published in: on December 19, 2018 at 19:45  Leave a Comment  

Duty First

Eighth UMNO President Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handed the duty of the nationalist party to Deputy President Mohammad “Tok Mat” Hassan.

The Star story:

Zahid steps aside as Umno president, hands over duties to deputy


NATION

  • Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018

PETALING JAYA: Bowing to the mounting pressure from within his party, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has announced his decision to step aside from his role of Umno president.

“Based on the struggle faced by the party today, I have decided to entrust the deputy president (Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan) the tasks of the president,” he said.

Ahmad Zahidi, who is facing a number of graft charges in court, said that he felt the concerns of some Umno leaders who are worried that they might feel the pressure, or be investigated with allegations he has faced.

“To strengthen the party, and in the interest of all, Member of Parliament and assemblymen, necessary measures need to be taken,” he said in a statement released on Tuesday (Dec 18) night. 

Dr Ahmad Zahid also called on MPs and assemblymen not to jump ship.

Full text of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement

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1. Umno wajib di selamatkan dari rebah.

2. Akar-umbi amat mengharapkan  pemimpin Umno bersatu hati untuk menterjemahkan halatuju Umno sesuai dengan slogan baharu ‘Umno Bangkit’.

4. Saya merasai keresahan segelintir pemimpin Umno keran khuatir mereka akan menerima tekanan, siasatan and tuduhan demi tuduhan seperti yang saya alami.

5. Demi keutuhan Umno dan demi kepentingan pimpinan di semua peringkat terutama Ahli-Ahli Parlimen dan ADUN-ADUN serta Umno Bahagian-Bahagian, langkah-langkah menyelamatkan situasi tersebut harus dilakukan segera.

6. Berdasarkan kepada kemelut yang dihadapi oleh parti hari ini, saya mengambil keputusan untuk memberi kepercayaan kepada Timbalan Presiden untuk menjalankan tugas-tugas sebagi Presiden.

7. Saya harap semua polimek mengenai kepimpinan ditamatkan dan saya mahu kepimpinan di peringkat akar umbi fokus memperkukuhkan parti.

8. Saya menyeru supaya tiada lagi tindakan keluar parti daripada Ahli-ahli Parlimen dan ADUN-ADUN.

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/12/18/zahid-steps-aside-as-umno-president/#I2vZJLaDYbmdjW2W.99

PETALING JAYA: Bowing to the mounting pressure from within his party, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has announced his decision to step aside from his role of Umno president.

“Based on the struggle faced by the party today, I have decided to entrust the deputy president (Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan) the tasks of the president,” he said.

Ahmad Zahidi, who is facing a number of graft charges in court, said that he felt the concerns of some Umno leaders who are worried that they might feel the pressure, or be investigated with allegations he has faced.

“To strengthen the party, and in the interest of all, Member of Parliament and assemblymen, necessary measures need to be taken,” he said in a statement released on Tuesday (Dec 18) night.

Dr Ahmad Zahid also called on MPs and assemblymen not to jump ship.

Full text of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement

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1. Umno wajib di selamatkan dari rebah.

2. Akar-umbi amat mengharapkan  pemimpin Umno bersatu hati untuk menterjemahkan halatuju Umno sesuai dengan slogan baharu ‘Umno Bangkit’.

4. Saya merasai keresahan segelintir pemimpin Umno keran khuatir mereka akan menerima tekanan, siasatan and tuduhan demi tuduhan seperti yang saya alami.

5. Demi keutuhan Umno dan demi kepentingan pimpinan di semua peringkat terutama Ahli-Ahli Parlimen dan ADUN-ADUN serta Umno Bahagian-Bahagian, langkah-langkah menyelamatkan situasi tersebut harus dilakukan segera.

6. Berdasarkan kepada kemelut yang dihadapi oleh parti hari ini, saya mengambil keputusan untuk memberi kepercayaan kepada Timbalan Presiden untuk menjalankan tugas-tugas sebagi Presiden.

7. Saya harap semua polimek mengenai kepimpinan ditamatkan dan saya mahu kepimpinan di peringkat akar umbi fokus memperkukuhkan parti.

8. Saya menyeru supaya tiada lagi tindakan keluar parti daripada Ahli-ahli Parlimen dan ADUN-ADUN.

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/12/18/zahid-steps-aside-as-umno-president/#I2vZJLaDYbmdjW2W.99

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Mohammad, who was a banker by profession and a successful corporate leader, would be defending his DUN Rantau seat after Election Court declared the announcement of his win uncontested on 14GE 9 May 2018 as null and void.

The former Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan won the recent party election as the Deputy President defeating MP Ketereh Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

It is likely Zahid would still remain as the Opposition Leader since he is the democratically elected Leader of the largest Opposition party in Dewan Rakyat.

The Bagan Datuk MP currently is facing 46 charges, which many considered to be a very cunning political manoeuvre to weaken UMNO.

In the hour long forum from Level 4 Auditorium at Menara Dato Onn, Putra World Trade Centre, Zahid also explained the recent misconception about UMNO co-operating with traditional enemy DAP.

The announcement of the leave of absence is seen as Zahid differentiating his personal issues from the burden of perception in doing his duties as the President.

His message for the party to be strengthened is the demonstration of the courage of an elected leader of his command and duty over his own affairs, upon to manage to rise at the top in a party of three million members and over twenty two thousand branches.

He succeeded the Leadership of UMNO and Barisan Nasional in the worst position of 59 years of general election history and experience.

Published in: on December 18, 2018 at 23:00  Leave a Comment  

Get the murderers!

Selangor Police announces that the young Kedah-born fireman Adib Kassim’s death, who has been a victim on duty responding to the recent USJ temple riot, has been reclassified under murder investigation.

NST story:

Policemen stationed near the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya. – NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

KUALA LUMPUR: The death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim is now a murder case.

Deputy Selangor police chief, Datuk Ab Rashid Ab Wahab, in confirming this, said the case is now being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

“The case was previously being investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder, following the injuries sustained by Adib in the incident at the temple in Seafield, Subang Jaya last month.

“However, we have reclassified the case to murder,” he said in a brief statement tonight.

Adib died at the National Heart Institute tonight, almost a month after the incident at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya which ultimately cost him his life.

On Nov 27, the 24-year-old and his team had responded to a vehicle fire report outside the temple.

However, Adib was dragged out of the vehicle and set upon by a mob.

He was later rescued by members the public who rushed him to the Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) for treatment. He was later transferred to the IJN to receive further treatment.

He was subsequently placed on life support, with his condition critical.

Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim passed away at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur, this evening. – NSTP.

Despite initially showing signs of recovery, his condition took a turn for the worse on Sunday. IJN, in a statement, said his lung functions had deteriorated.

He passed away at 9.41pm tonight, with his family by his side.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple was reportedly the centre of a tug-of-war between rival committee members as well as a housing developer, which had bought the land it was located on.

Trouble began on the morning of Nov 26 when a clash broke out between two groups of people at the temple, with the riot defused only when police arrived.

The next day saw the incident which would eventually cost Adib’s life.

The Save Sri Maha Mariamman Temple task force had claimed that Adib was not assaulted by a group of rioters but was instead hit by a fire engine.

The claim was angrily refuted by the Fire and Rescue Department. Police later confirmed the department’s stand that a fire engine did not run Adib over, and that he was assaulted by rioters.

In the ensuing days, police arrested 106 people to facilitate a probe into the case. Four men, aged between 21 and 24, were the latest to be released on remand on Dec 10.

*********

Some people should literally be hanged for the death of Adib, who was in uniform and pulled from he Fire Services van and lynched by the road as the two machine achieve arrive in respond to the calls of emergency as vehicles were burning caused the riot.

Adib and the entire firemen crew were in uniform and Fire Services when they were attacked.

 

The first media statement by Minister-in-charge of Unity, P Wathyamoorthy, who was once a leader of the leftist Hindu group which in the past fanned hatred and seditious statements, shocked the nation. Especially when he specially said the Police was not responding to the emergency call at the said USJ temple.

It also compounded the general public further anger against him..

Let us pray that they conclude this quite quickly and charge those amongst the 106 and probably others, for the Section 302 Penal Code crime.

In the list announced by the Police who have been investigated for recent racial and for seditious statements, Wathyamoorthy tops the list.

Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Adib, who volunteered in hazard and peril to save people and properties but instead lynched to death.

Al-Fatihah

Published in: on December 18, 2018 at 00:00  Leave a Comment  

Master-mind-games

The most recent political manoeuvres and shifts even gotten those who propped Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ability and sincerity to bring about ‘change’ to Malaysia in the lemon they sold to Malaysians the past two and half years of effective Pakatan Harapan-ship.

Malaysiakini story:

Mahathir must step down to save Reformasi

COMMENT | Our decision regarding PM’s imminent embrace of Umno defectors could determine nation’s fate for generations to come.

COMMENT | It should be plain by now that we are on the threshold of seeing the reincarnation of Umno through Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his party Bersatu.

Soon, the scores of Umno MPs will dwindle to a handful, with almost all the defecting MPs migrating to boost up the small number of Bersatu MPs, making the latter party one of the largest, if not the largest component party of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition.

What’s wrong with stuffing up Bersatu with ex-Umno MPs that would increase Harapan’s total numbers?

There would be nothing seriously wrong with that actually, if Umno had not almost ruined the country with astronomical corruption, corroded the entire government administration, and fractured the country with unbridled racism and religious extremism – and if the country was not being led by a dubious reformist leader, Mahathir.

Mahathir has shown unmistakable signs that he is reverting to his previous mode of autocratic rule in the Umno era, during which he destroyed democratic institutions, enhanced racism and brought rampant corruption and cronyism, which system of governance later served as a foundation for former premier Najib Abdul Razak to launch his world-renowned massive kleptocratic frolics.

Mahathir is no reformist

That Mahathir is no reformist is evidenced from his refusal to abolish the myriad repressive laws and dismantle racist institutions, like the brainwashing set-up of the National Civics Bureau (BTN) as pledged before the last election.

His reluctance to bring in institutional reforms is also seen in his persistent refusal to disclose the reports of the Committee for Institutional Reforms and the Council of Eminent Persons. It is obvious that the revelation of those reports would have embarrassed him for his lack of action in the direction recommended in such reports.

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This call came following the report about former Minister and UMNO Supreme Council member Dato Seri Hamzah Zainuddin’s statement of the agreement to defect after he and five other UMNO MPs proclaimed their severance from the nationalist party.

Hamzah: 36 BN MPs pledged support for Dr M

This includes those from Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and MIC.

Larut MP Hamzah Zainuddin, who left Umno today, claimed that 36 BN MPs have signed a pledge of allegiance to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“There are 33 from Umno, one from Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and two from MIC who signed (letters of) support for the prime minister. This was not decided a day or two ago. It was decided about a month ago.

“This group sincerely want to ensure that the government (of the day) is stable and ensure that no one uses Parliament to dethrone the PM because we are hearing suggestions (of such).

“If the political situation is not stable, it would cause problems to the people. That is why we want stability and we support the PM to lead. This is all in the nation and the people’s interest,” he said, according to Berita Harian.

When asked if Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was aware of this development, Hamzah replied that the “boss” was unaware.

When asked if Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was aware of this development, Hamzah replied that the “boss” was unaware.

When asked if Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was aware of this development, Hamzah replied that the “boss” was unaware.

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

The fact is that, the Pakatan Harapan Government under Prime Minister Dr Mahathir’s Leadership have progressed very little into eighth month into power.

Only two out of the top ten ‘Change Agenda’ has been rolled out. Even that is in progress and have not achieved the success they promised to Malaysians.

One is the crucifixion of ‘UMNO Bogeyman’ ghastly stories, which currently the outrageous multiple criminal charges thrown against UMNO Leaders in the like of former Prime Minister Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, UMNO President Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Treasurer Dato’ Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor.

Former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman is also on the hit list and expected more would be added.

This, on top of the last weekend’s massive converge of Malay-Muslim in a thunderous show of force which spooked the Non Malays, particularly PKR-DAP.

It is translated in DAP Emperorissimo Lim Kit Siang’s comment to the fate of the ‘Reform Agenda’ in the nothing-new ‘Malaysia Baru’.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Kit Siang: Malaysia Baharu won’t last without Malay support

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) must strive to win over the Malay community to ensure the country’s revival since the general election is not erased, said DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.

In an interview with Malaysiakini, the Iskandar Puteri MP said the dominant community’s backing was crucial in order for the pact to remain in power and implement its intended visions and reforms.

There is a need for more Malays to come on board. This (the 25 to 30 per cent) was enough for May 9 — for a change but it is not enough for a revival.

“[…] We must be able to increase the Malay understanding (of the government) and their support. More Malays must take ownership (of the change),” he told the news portal.

However, he said that efforts to convince the Malay community to back PH must be balanced with preserving the backing of the country’s other communities.

Failing that, Lim predicted that the PH government would not be able to stay in power.

“The ‘New Malaysia’ will fail, and we can go back to pre-May 9,” he was quoted saying.

He warned of the spreading “toxic politics of hate and fear” and cited the rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination organised by PAS and Umno recently as an example.

While he said both parties were in decline, effort must still be made to counter their narrative.

Lim previously told Malaysians that true change will not be possible within a single term under PH, noting that the pact needed to undo over six decades of alleged abuse and corruption inflicted on the country by the previous government.

While PH managed an unforeseen victory in the general election, it did not do so with strong support from Malay voters.

Polls by think tanks such as Ilham Centre and Merdeka Center have placed Malay support for the coalition to be as low as in the region of 17 to 20 per cent.

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Obviously the neighbourhood of quarter of million in demonstration of precision peaceful assembly, not to mention rubbish-free, send tremors through the spine of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir’s party PPBM.

As the supposed voice of the Malays in the Federal Government, there are not able to amass vectorially enough attention and support.

In short, their politics don’t resonate the sentiments and conviction of the Malay-Muslim majority.

Political analyst Joceline Tan’s most recent column:

Wake-up call for Pakatan govt


ANALYSIS

The Islamic flavour, the sheer numbers and single-minded purpose of protesters at the anti-Icerd rally means that the government cannot afford to ignore what the Malays want. 

A 93-YEAR-OLD driving through the streets of Kuala Lumpur does not sound like a good idea. But Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad showed that he still has a steady pair of hands as he drove into the city centre on Saturday.

According to a staunch supporter, Firdaus Abdullah, the Prime Minister wanted to see for himself the aftermath of the biggest Malay-Muslim protest in history.

Dr Mahathir is famous for scolding the Malays, be it for not remembering the past, for not working hard and, more recently, for not being more critical of corruption.

But he must have been pleasantly surprised to find that those at the mammoth anti-Icerd (International Con­ven­tion on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) rally that ended an hour or so earlier had done a fantastic clean-up job and left the streets even cleaner than before they descended on the city centre.

Many have described the rally as a “class act” – the protesters were disciplined and did not resort to rude sloganeering or uncivic behaviour as was the norm in past mega rallies.

It was conduct that even Dr Mahathir, known for his exacting ways, could not find fault with and it has also silenced many critics out there.

It is hard to guess what is going through his mind in the wake of the biggest challenge to his New Malaysia government.

A lesser man would have panicked, but Dr Mahathir has been rat­her sanguine in his response to the whole thing.

Besides, he could hardly blame the other side for what had happened because the Icerd issue was what KRA chief strategist Amir Fareed Rahim called an “own goal”, resulting from a total miscalculation on the part of Pakatan Harapan.

It was the golden opportunity for the Opposition to prove that the majority of Malays – two-thirds, to be exact – are not with the Pakatan government.

And prove it they did on Dec 8 when their supporters turned the streets of downtown Kuala Lumpur into rivers of human beings.

“Identity politics, especially of race and religion, still has a strong appeal in Malaysia. The two major Malay opposition parties have shown that they can unite over such issues and mobilise their support base,” said Amir.

It was a purely Malay-Muslim protest that set off alarm bells in the Mahathir administration.

The Prime Minister will be under pressure from now on to consider the Malay factor when making government policies.

“Many Malays feel they cannot rely on the government to defend their priorities on Islam and Malay rights. If this goes on, it will affect the credibility of the government,” said an aide to a Bersatu politician.

A common remark on social media was that this is a wake-up call for the powers-that-be.

At the peak of the rally, Yin Shao Loong, a policy officer to the Economic Affairs Minister, had tweeted in response to those belitt­ling the rally: “Make all the snide asides you want about this being a rally for racism or a cover for crooks. This mobilisation is a wake-up call. PH needs to get out to the Malay heartland with people and policies that will have a transformative impact.”

The Pakatan government is too consumed by the blame game which they believe can carry them through to a second term in Putrajaya.

Some say it is unfair to expect so much so soon of the new government which is floundering in unchartered waters.

“People talk of a honeymoon period, but when you are the government, there is no honeymoon. People who put their trust in you expect you to deliver right away,” said the above Bersatu aide.

A more subtle signal coming from Saturday’s rally is the overwhelming numbers of young Malays, especially those in their 20s and 30s.

It means the Opposition has support from the Malay youth cohort.

In short, the Malays/Muslims will have the biggest say over the future of Malaysia.

“The Pakatan government needs to tread carefully on Malay issues. Its Malay support base is too narrow, it needs to put serious attention and effort to win the Malay hearts and minds,” said Amir.

There is little doubt the rally sent jitters through the Pakatan side even as their supporters tried to discredit it.

The concern was not only about the size, but the way the protesters moved with a single-minded purpose. The rally was sending out the message that when Malays are united, anything is possible.

Pakatan leaders know the danger of mega protests, be it the Arab Spring or what is now happening in the streets of Paris.

Their own support for the Bersih rallies chipped away at the then government’s hold on power.

“The government is not in any real danger. But it will be a bumpy ride ahead if issues like the economy are not properly addressed,” said election expert Datuk Prof Dr Redzuan Othman.

The government has resembled a chariot being pulled by horses running in different directions.

A couple of horses seem to be running on broken legs, and that is why Dr Mahathir may have to respond to the wake-up call by reshuffling his Cabinet, among other things.

He needs to fix his chariot soon and replace some horses, because by May 2019, he will reach the mid-point of his two-year tenure, or what is known as the lame-duck phase as Prime Minister.

Unless, of course, he plans on staying on indefinitely.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2018/12/10/wakeup-call-for-pakatan-govt-the-islamic-flavour-the-sheer-numbers-and-singleminded-purpose-of-prote/#hsruOqpA5mmZvTm1.99

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Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir has not able to deliver the ‘change’, though the propaganda is still harping on the ‘Malaysia Baru’ which has proven to be anything but lame and defective.

The common man of the street is already feeling the heat of the ‘change’ is heading down south.

Amongst many things, often Prime Minister Dr.Mahathir’s tendency to travel and working abroad is more prevalent than him spending time amongst the pockets of diverse Malaysian communities and interests.

Presently, he is on his second trip to Thailand in three months. His thrice visit to Japan in six months and failure visit to China, is still talked about.

Never mind the ‘Reform Agenda’. Basic statistics already worrying. Domestic economy, retail, tourism, oil and gas, foreign trade, foreign relations are already heading the other way, in rates digressing steeper than expected.

Federal Government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd already lost RM65billion worth of market capitalisation as the the psychological market confidence factor in the translation of KLCI index dipped touching 1650 points on the bearish trend and exchange rate of USD to RM hit above 4.20 and on the uptrend.

Considering that the global price of oil and gas is on the bearish trend, the cost of production is actually going up. The latest news of Federal Government agreeing to the rise in electricity tariff would have pivotal effect across the board.

This is not what the majority of Malaysians signed on when they booted out Barisan Nasional from power on historical date of 9 May 2018.

Perhaps they have somewhat bought into the ‘UMNO Bogeyman’ hollow-win stories. However, the reality is that the biggest loser is the Malay-Muslim, which is the largest bit of Malaysian composition.

Inter-race relations is at its most precarious position since the May 1969 racial riots.

Anti-ICERD Rally Demonstrates The Malay-Chinese Divide

Amy Chew, CNA

They came by car, train and buses from across the country in the tens of thousands, turning the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, into a sea of white last Saturday (Dec 8) to rally against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

Stirred by Islamist party PAS’ call that the rally was a “jihad” and former ruling party UMNO’s exhortation for “Muslim unity”, the protestors went ahead despite Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announcing ICERD would not be ratified.

The huge turnout showed how race and religion became tools for the opposition to mobilise the masses against the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

“I came here to defend Islam. We worry the government has merely delayed and not cancelled the ratification of ICERD,” said 51-year-old PAS member Surizan Sulaiman, who travelled by car from Kuantan, Pahang.

The opposition parties – UMNO and PAS – claimed ICERD threatened the position of Islam and the special rights of the Malays in the country.

ICERD USED BY UMNO’S ELITE TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM CORRUPTION CHARGES: ANALYSTS

Analysts suggested UMNO had seized on ICERD to divert attention away from the corruption allegations facing several of the party’s senior leaders.

Former prime minister and president of UMNO Najib Razak is currently facing 39 charges of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and abuse of power. Several other senior members of UMNO have been charged in court.

“UMNO’s elites saw this ICERD as an amazing opportunity to divert attention from the corruption cases, court trials, by using a very powerful issue – the notion of what the nation is and the position of Malays,” said political scientist Chandra Muzaffar, president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

PAS, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to boost its standing.

“PAS saw a huge opportunity to strengthen their political position. PAS does not have to grapple with corruption, for them it is mobilisation, something which they are very good at grassroots, to boost their standing,” added Chandra.

“The way it (ICERD) was presented to the Malays by the opposition …there was a lot of distortion, even downright lies. ICERD in no way threatens Islam, the monarchy, Malay rights,” said Chandra.

“ICERD allows for affirmative action … this means it does not threaten the special privileges of Malays,” he added.

ECONOMIC ISSUES CONTRIBUTED TO TURNOUT: ANALYST

Thrown into this mix was the unhappiness of those rural Malays – the fishermen, farmers, rubber tappers – who feel that they are being sidelined by the new government.

This cocktail of racial and religious brew inflamed passions that were on full display last Saturday, prompting analysts to warn it could potentially turn into a flashpoint if the situation is not managed well by all parties.

“It (ICERD) really hurts Malay sentiment. Don’t push us too hard. The word ‘amok’ comes from Malays. If Malays are very angry, they can become irrational. We don’t want that to happen. We want peace,” said Dr Mohd Khalid Kassim from PAS who stressed that he was speaking in his personal capacity.

“We must ensure ICERD is out indefinitely in Malaysia as it affects our religion and Bumiputra privileges,” he said.

Bumiputra, or sons of the soil, refers to Malays and indigenous people in Malaysia.

“I think the big turnout reflects the growing discontent amongst the Malay constituencies and signals PH to not take the rural voters for granted. Many fishermen, rubber tappers and Felda settlers feel that they are being sidelined by the new government,” said Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, senior analyst at BowerGroupAsia.

Felda refers to the Federal Land Development Authority, a government agency which was founded in 1956 to develop land and handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas to organise smallholder farmers growing cash crops.

“While race and religion may have been the headline for this rally, cost of living, affordability of goods, opportunities for employment and affordable housing will be the deciding factor in the next election,” said Asrul.

NEW GOVERNMENT FACES BATTLE TO MAINTAIN SUPPORT AS FORMER REGIME PUSHES BACK

Equally significant, last weekend’s events were an example of the difficulties that are typically seen to plague new governments that oust long-running regimes.

In the case of Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan unseated UMNO which had ruled the country for 61 years, making it one of the longest-running regimes in the world.

“After many decades in power, the old regime forces have numerous supporters and stakeholders throughout bureaucratic, governmental, legal and community institutions with a great deal to lose,” said Professor Greg Barton, chair of Global Islamic Studies, Deakin University.

“Many resort to publicly supporting reform whilst covertly undermining it.

“Invariably, they (new government) face both open push-back, and more insidious attempts at covert meddling, from the ancient regime forces,” said Prof Barton.

“Whenever there are clashes or tensions along communal lines, that ostensibly appear to be racial or religious in nature, there are competing elite interests that are attempting to mobilise mass support by inflaming communal tensions,” he added.

Prof Barton pointed to Indonesia’s chaotic transition from an autocracy to a democracy in 1998 when sectarian violence erupted and claimed many lives as an example.

“This was very clear in Indonesia two decades ago under the reformist transitional presidencies of BJ Habibie and Abdurrahman Wahid,” said Prof Barton, who wrote a biography on Wahid.

ECONOMY, MERITOCRACY KEY TO PH SURVIVAL

‘I think the lesson learnt from the anti-ICERD rally is that the government should not move too quickly just to appease the vocal urban voters,” said Asrul of BowerGroupAsia.

“Such an entrenched mindset (on race and religion) must be tackled tactfully through engagement and education,” said Asrul.

Political scientist Chandra said the government could practise meritocracy in place of ratifying ICERD.

“You start by tending to the needs of people regardless of ethnicity, reward people on the basis of excellence and ability. Make those changes even if it’s gradual,” said Chandra.

“At the same time educate people, develop their understanding of society,” he said.

Asrul said there is a need for Pakatan to focus on the needs of the majority in order to retain support.

“PH government should focus on quick and easy wins that affect the majority to keep the momentum of winning the general election and defeating Najib Razak. Difficult issues such as ICERD should be tackled with a more long-term strategy in mind,” said Asrul.

“For Malaysia to transition through this difficult period of consolidating democratic reform, and to achieve its full potential, will require exceptional leadership from every quarter of Malaysian society,” said Prof Barton.

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In many ways, UMNO as the nationalist party is the symbol of Malay-Muslim, which is the fundamental of mainstay Malaysian politics for over seven decades. UMNO managed to gel the Malay-Muslim support, which is clearly demonstrated even at the point of demise Barisan Nasional’s power, the party formed by Dato Onn Ja’afar and amalgamated and consolidated 29 Malay NGOs in May 1946 is evidence the unity that could be fostered when push comes to shove.

Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s PPBM is unable to match that. They maybe at the helm of power by the de facto of a very fragile marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-bakcstabbing-strange-bed-fellows, it is clear the party of former UMNO leaders is very thin on nationwide machinery and grassroots support.

Even in the Malay-Muslim majority constituencies.

The sentiments The fear on the projected path of for the Fifth and longest serving UMNO President (original and ‘UMNO Baru’) is his wrath for the damnation of the nationalist party, which was a member for almost the majority part of his seventy two years in politics.

The Malaysiakini story:

Mat Hassan: Kami rayu Dr M tak bubarkan Umno

Lu Wei Hoong
 (Dikemaskini )

Mohamad Hassan menjelaskan bahawa pertemuan beliau bersama empat pemimpin Umno lain dengan Perdana Menteri Dr Mahathir Mohamad bukan bagi membincangkan keputusan untuk meninggalkan parti itu.

Sebaliknya, kata timbalan presiden Umno itu, mereka merayu kepada Mahathir supaya tidak membubarkan parti berkenaan, yang pernah dipimpinnya selama lebih dua dekad.

“Ia hanya kunjungan hormat,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini, hari ini.

“Tun M (Mahathir) kata Umno akan dibubarkan. Kami merayu kepadanya supaya tidak berbuat demikian,” katanya.

Mohamad menyifatkan perjumpaan itu diadakan dalam suasana yang mesra.

“Tun menerima kami. Saya pernah bekerja di bawahnya. Belanja kami sate dan macam-macam.

“Dunia ini bukan sahaja mengenai politik. Ia mengenai hubungan. Kami membuat kunjungan hormat dan pada masa sama kami kata, ‘tolong jangan bubarkan Umno’. Dia janji tidak akan berbuat demikian,” katanya.

Dalam hantaran di Facebook sebelum ini, wartawan veteran A Kadir Jasin mengesahkan gambar tular pertemuan perdana menteri dengan pemimpin Umno itu sebagai tulen dan berlangsung pada Oktober.

Selain Mohamad, antara yang turut hadir dalam pertemuan itu ialah bekas menteri wilayah Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, bekas menteri kpdnkk Hamzah Zainuddin, bekas menteri undang-undang Shahidan Kassim dan bekas menteri pembangunan luar bandar Noh Omar.

[Baca berita penuh]

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

The demise of UMNO as a nationalist party and spoils of of victory is probably Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s man-possessed scheme of things objective.

The manœuvres and shifts within UMNO are at leaders’ level and not the main body, which the grassroots. By cutting of the head and straggling resources and access to assets, is most likely to get UMNO imploded and the over three million ordinary members disorganised and unable to be mobilise for anything.

Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s obsession with his own political agenda and interest above the nation’s and at the expense of the aspirations of majority of Malaysians, is a mind-boggling master-stroke towards uncertainty, with mathematical permutation cannot be projected.

It is not surprising that his Machiavellian mind is strategising the ‘Divide and Rule’ and keeping the Malay-Muslim’s between UMNO and PAS wedged, as the two have more in common and working towards a new ‘Melayu Baru’.

In the absence of a proper succession plan and the agenda is have newly elected PKR President Dato’ Seri Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim despite the biggest share in the ruling Federal Constituency to not succeed as the Eighth Prime Minister.

The fear of de facto Eighth Prime Minister Anwar is apparent in his comment and tone upon getting his reaction of the massive exodus of UMNO MPs and leaders from Sabah and Semenanjung, which is about the diluting the power base of his own support.

This is not withstanding that the manoeuvres and shifts of MPs would create the imbalance of his own clout within Pakatan Harapan. It is mind boggling of Anwar’s influence of confidence and support from the valued Sabah and Sarawak combined 58 MPs, which is over 26%.

The other King Maker is the support of DAP. Combined with the centrally controlled party of 42 MPs, that is over 40% of the Dewan Rakyat. Then again, Anwar would have to come up with a very good offering to get DAP into his scheme, which is a possibility of having the first Non Malay Deputy Prime Minister formula.

A crystal-ball muddled, in so many clouded diversions rapidly flashing without any pattern.

It is a three-dimensional game of Risk and Chess, combined played by a very seasoned and strategically minded politician, whose productivity as a man still working full time as a Group Chief Executive of a very large firm of 1.6 million employees over the age nine three, itself is a medical miracle.

This is as the rest of Malaysia is fixated on the three-dimensional game of Master Mind, all and sundry.

One is reminded of the glaring comment of the son of Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir, who is also his party’s Deputy President and currently the Menteri Besar of Kedah, when the two were in the height of running down then UMNO President and Fifth President Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, “Nothing new”.

Dejavu adds the complexity of these, mind games.

Published in: on December 15, 2018 at 22:30  Leave a Comment  

No real weighted woes in TH

The Minister in charge of Religious Affairs Dato’ Seri Mujahid Yusof ought to be treating the facts pertaining Tabung Haji (TH) wholesomely accurate and without political overtone, because a lot is at stake here.

In a ‘shock and awe’ revelation made at Parliament this morning, Mujahid blamed TH for its Hibah exercise which he malignantly described as, “Illegal”.

The Star story:

Mujahid: Tabung Haji paid dividends illegally since 2014 as debts exceeded assets


KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has been illegally paying dividends (hibah) to its depositors since 2014, says Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

The Minister in charge of Islamic affairs explained that the dividend payments had contravened the Tabung Haji Act 1995 as TH had more debts than assets in the previous years.

He cited TH’s 2017 financial report, tabled in Parliament on Monday (Dec 10), which showed that it has more liabilities (RM74.4bil) than its total assets (RM70.3bil).

This meant a total deficit of RM4.1bil as of Dec 31, 2017. 

First, its assets cannot be less than its debts and second, there must be profits to be distributed. 

“TH has been declaring hibah since 2014, not in accordance with the Act, because its assets have been less than its liabilities,” he told reporters during a press conference in Parliament on Monday (Dec 10). 

TH’s 2017 financial report, audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), had recommended the Government initiate a “comprehensive turnaround plan” to address the RM4.1bil gap, said Dr Mujahid. 

Under the plan, Dr Mujahid said PwC had proposed setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to take over, rehabilitate and maximise the recovery of its underperforming assets. 

He added that the SPV has been approved by Cabinet and it will be in operation before the end of 2018. 

Dr Mujahid said that TH will be placed under the supervision of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on Jan 1, 2019, and expressed confidence that the turnaround plan will be implemented by the government as soon as possible

“Cabinet had discussed the turnaround plan thoroughly and given our full support and endorsement to the plan, so that TH’s financial position can be regularised and the people’s confidence can be restored. 

“To ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of TH, the government has decided to place it under the supervision of BNM administratively, from Jan 1, 2019.” 

Meanwhile, Dr Mujahid also said depositors may receive their dividend payouts for 2018. 

“Now that the restructuring plan is here, if we can fulfil two conditions and if there is profit, then definitely we will get (dividends). 

“But that will be announced before the end of the year, we have not close out accounts for the year yet.” 

Dr Mujahid also hinted that further action may be taken against the previous administration of TH. 

“Since 2014, TH has been giving dividends without fulfilling the two conditions. So, where did they get the money? I leave that to you,” he said. 

“That will be dealt with later,” he added.

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The announcement by Minister Mujahid is a politically very hazardous.

What is interesting in Minister Mujahid’s statement that no mention of the the clear policies of how TH’s treatment of assets, borrowings, added value or impairment of losses and investments.

Clearly, how then Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang signed off the audited accounts.

The fact is that TH is not facing not had faced liquidity and cashflow issues, troubled borrowings and in the exact line to explain 1MDB commercial issues, “Mismatch between assets, borrowings and cashflow management”.

Two Fridays ago it was revealed that TH made two Police reports against previous TH Chairman, Group Managing Director, CEO and several current key management personalities.

What is interesting is that they are pertaining to Yayasan Tabung Haji activities “inclined to be political” last year and a corporate exercise of disposal of subsidiary and assets of plantations in Indonesia, six years ago.

Were there red flags raised by then the Auditor General?

Another interesting fact is about TH’s holdings and investments in Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB).

TH de-invested most of it’s holdings in BIMB throughout 2016 and 2017 and obtained a premium, which very positive to TH’s balance sheet and directly, the 9.7 million depositors.

That’s comparatively to present capital and financial market level and performance.

TH maintained operations for the benefit of depositors and aspiring Hajj pilgrims all over the country, on top a globally Hajj operations in Saudi, year-on-year, which what it was formed to do.

This is a point which Minister Mujahid should continuously stress on instead of making ‘shock and awe’ announcements, which is political in nature and would confuse TH depositors and aspiring Hajj pilgrims more and provide comfort for their savings.

The fact that exactly week ago, a foreign news carried a malignant media story to hit at TH, added to the political overtone of Pakatan Harapan leaders pawning TH at an effect with the expense of TH depositors and aspiring Hajj pilgrims.

What is interesting is the Malay-Muslim confidence of the Pakatan Harapan leadership in the Federal and State Governments, all and in sundry, is on the eroding and bearish trend.

More so in the recently concluded successful highly peaceful and incident free rally of 300,000 Malay-Muslim that send a thunderous message that their interest cannot be taken lightly or at their expense.

Minister Mujahid should strive to preserve the 9.7million confidence with uplifting developments in TH instead of using it for politics and at the expense of the too many simpletons who saved in TH and aspire to fulfil the fifth tenet of Islam.

Majority of those who saved in TH are not analytical enough to understand the corporate decisions made by professionals, to preserve the strategic interest in TH’s investments, which is to extend and strive for better benefits to more the 9.7million depositors and on record the over a million Hajj pilgrim aspirants.

The horror past ghost in making malicious political revelation at the expense of TH caused a few thousand to lose their assigned queue for Hajj, by closing their accounts due to a media shock started by a blogger. This happened a three and half years ago.

Minister Mujahid also announced the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to sort out TH financial and commercial woes is also to politicise and cast the aspersions that TH is heading into a deep financial crisis, which is heading the receivership and administration destination.

Obviously, some quarters would commercially benefit from the corporate exercises which would be undertaken by such SPVs.

On top of that to announce that Bank Negara Malaysia would be the governing authority over TH is to politically demonise the current corporate governance of TH which include the Auditor General and all the acts and authoritative bodies are incompetent or inadequate.

Minister Mujahid should call for the extensive due diligence and quicken the Police investigations on TH, instead adding into the political overtone.

In the final analysis, political overtone outweighing the strategic interest of the simpleton amongst rural and lifetime savers of TH, is a road for calamity of the majority Malay-Muslim, way pass the political lifespan of the current leaders in power.

The institutional credibility and integrity of TH should never in anyway be the pawn of political masters.

Published in: on December 10, 2018 at 15:00  Leave a Comment  

The ICERD discourse

There has been a lot said about International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and more importantly recently there are some quarters who seek to question the need to protest against the possibility of ratification of the said Convention, especially when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir has recently announced that the ratification will not take place at this point of time, notwithstanding after he made an announcement and a pledge at the General Assembly in the UN that Malaysia would ratify such Conventions.

To many, it is common sense and the right thing to do that Malaysia adopt the treaty, and what the current government is doing is obviously ethical and therefore any inquiry or conversation as to the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir’s speech at the UN is down-right ludicrous.

The same crowd also would go on to say that the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir has since made a u-turn and is not ratifying the convention and therefore any protest on ICERD is also equally ludicrous.

The problem in having rules of absolutes, coupled with negating the right of expression and speech is that we stifle democracy, and Malaysians stifle rules of policy making that takes in to account all stake holders’ rights when deciding what is good for a nation state as a whole. 

Before going in to the crux of the argument as to why the conversation pertaining ICERD is still relevant notwithstanding the Government recent u-turn on the ratification of the Convention Malaysians needed to be pointed out an inherent weakness in the current method of governance and policy making adopted by the current government.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir delivering Malaysia’s national statement at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly’s general debate, said that the ‘New Malaysia’ will firmly espouse the principles promoted by the United Nations in its international engagements and these include the principles of truth, human rights, the rule of law, justice, fairness, responsibility and accountability, as well as sustainability.

“It is within this context that the new government of Malaysia has pledged to ratify all remaining core UN instruments related to the protection of human rights.”

He said nonetheless that “We will accord space and time for all to deliberate and to decide freely based on democracy.”

Now when making a pledge to the world at large, the issue is was this just political double speak or was this issue a genuine attempt to garner political legitimacy at the international political scene without concern of accountability from Malaysia as a whole, which includes the majority Muslim population.

The point is simple, The Federal Government is empowered by Article 74(1) read with the Federal List in the 9th Schedule, Article 39, and Article 80(1) of the Federal Constitution; to enter in to treaties internationally but the proviso is that it needs Cabinet Approval. The point to ponder at this juncture is whether the ratification of these treaties was discussed at parliament and did it get the Cabinet approval before the speech was made. 

An accountable government would have first sought to get the feedback from all stakeholders and discuss the matter before the speech were made and pledge be given at the international arena. Why should the nation state be made to look like fools when politicians’ practices irresponsible politics at the international stage, and as usual the politics of UMNO being a race-based party and its legacy will be blamed for this detraction. 

What people failed appreciate in its entirety when evaluating the PM‘s motives is that the person who gave the pledged at the UN is a leader of the only race-based party in the current government, which party is the weakest in regards to parliamentary seats, and is actively trying to stigmatise UMNO while coveting MP from UMNO to hop over to strengthen his current Party Position.

While it is convenient to be a hypocrite and to practice thievery and coercion due to political expediency it is definitely silly to drown out any semblance of conversation on these issues because it is only through debate and conversations that we promote accountability in governance and it further creates a thinking voter which is needed in a vibrant democracy. 

The Conversation pertaining to ICERD, be it a street protest or discussion in parliament is needed and crucial notwithstanding the ratification of which has been postponed.

Some of the main arguments and narratives put forth pertaining to the positives in ICERD and the contemporaneous sustenance of Malay rights issue are the following;

1. There is no way Article 153 would be affected simply because we need a special majority of change the Constitution and therefore with Malaysia comprising of majority of Malays this will not happen;
2. Even if Malaysia ratify the treaty it can be limited, and it would not affect the manner in which things are done in Malaysia;
3. Parliament is not selling its sovereignty to decide what it best for the Malays or the rest of Malaysian Society at large by ratifying convention at MP are the law makers and they control what is allowed and what is not to be the common morality which is reflected in policy and laws in Malaysia.

Respectfully, this is only part of the picture, and it would be morally irresponsible not to provide the circumstances how ICERD might affect our current political and legal landscape.  

Malaysians need to realise the following crucial facts;

1. The Guardians of the Constitution are not solely Parliament.  In actually fact the Courts play a very crucial role guarding the applicability of rights based on common morality and public policy.
2. It is noted that, the Federal Court and at time even the High Court has been known to interpret provisions in the constitution either widely or narrowly. 
3. Courts generally interpret the law based on precedent i.e. locally and foreign decided cases. The judges also take cognizance public policy prevalent morality in deciding as to whether to interpret a matter narrowly or widely. Often, it is conveniently referred to this as judicial activism based on the ‘Rule of Law’.
4. Therefore, in taking in to account the above issues it is very probably for the certain rights to be given a narrow interpretation upon ratification of ICERD. This can happen even if the Constitution is not amended. 
5. The Judiciary is independent and neither is it political. Therefore, Parliament has no control over the Judiciary, and neither can the PM nor the King bully or interfere with Judicial Activism simply because we have Separation of Powers in this great Nation State. This is part of a functioning modern Democracy. Therefore once we ratify a treaty there are far reaching consequences.
6. An example of where ratifications of international treaty has affected local laws and policy can be seen in Australia. The reason why Australia is used as an example, because just like Malaysia it has a written constitution, it is based on common law, its political system is based on a Federation which head is the Queen. The examples of international treaty having an impact on local law, policy and local morality can be observed in the following cases;

 

a. Toonen v Australia (1994)

Mr Toonen complained to the International Human Rights Committee about Tasmania’s criminal laws which made homosexuality illegal. Toonen claimed that the law contravened Article 17 and 26 of the ICCPR because the laws interfered with his right to privacy and self-discrimination. The HRC agreed with Toonen. The Federal Parliament responded to the HRC finding by passing the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 to override the Tasmania law which criminalised homosexuality. Eventually in 1997 the State of Tasmania repealed the law criminalising homosexuality due to Toonen case.

 

b. Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen

The Aboriginal Land Fund Commission entered into a contract to buy a pastoral lease in Queensland. The Queensland Minister for Lands refused to give his consent to the transfer of the lease on the basis that Queensland Government policy was opposed to the acquisition of large parts of the State by Aborigines. Mr Koowarta, an Aborigines, brought an action against the Premier of Queensland, Mr Bjelke-Petersen, for breach of sections 9 and 12 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth). It is noted that RDA was passed due to Australia’s obligation under CERD. The Queensland Government responded by challenging the constitutional basis of the Act.  In Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen, the High Court upheld the validity of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, and in short allowed the transfer of land notwithstanding the State Government policy at that time.

 

c. Tasmania Dam Case – Here Australia Federal Government ratified the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in August 1974. Part of its scheme involved the listing of properties under the World Heritage List. The Tasmanian Government requested that a certain area of Tasmania be listed under the Convention. A subsequent Tasmanian Government authorised the construction of a dam on the Franklin River within this area. The area was accepted by the World Heritage Committee for entry into the World Heritage List in December 1982. In short notwithstanding that land came under the purview of the state due to its external affairs power the Federal Government here managed to dissipate the Tasmania State rights and stopped the Dam from being built, as a result of the internal convention that it had signed, which allowed the lands to be listed as a world heritage site.

What shown here is that notwithstanding any rights and powers in the Federal Constitution, once we ratify certain treaties, there is a very real possibility that these international obligations will affect the relationship between Federal and State Government, and Rights provided to certain segments of society, and in many of such cases parliament would have no choice but to comply. 

Whether we as a nation would want this to occur collectively, would have to be predetermined by a Conversation, and this protest against ICERD is a testament to that.     

 

 

Published in: on December 6, 2018 at 14:30  Leave a Comment  

Malignant Media Mode

In the days of the ‘New Malaysia’, apparently the new administration still resorts to the old ways of presenting their politics and gunning the opponent.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Report: Tabung Haji deposits short of RM4b, at least

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Malaysia’s dedicated savings fund for Muslims to perform the mandatory haj pilgrimage should have RM64 billion in assets, but has been found to be short of RM4 billion in deposits in 2016, according to The Sunday Times.

The weekend edition of Singapore daily The Straits Times reported that Tabung Haji (TH) has nine million depositors, but it has yet show the audit of its 2017 accounts following a change in its board and senior management after the 14th general elections in May, suggesting that the losses in deposits could have climbed since.

The newspaper also cited an anonymous senior official in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government saying the TH management had “faked last year’s accounts to justify its dividend payout” of up to 6.25 per cent just before the May 9 elections, which brings the total to RM2.7 billion.

Today’s disclosure cracks open further the lid on a new financial can of worms after the new TH board filed police reports against its former chairman and several other members of the senior management over two issues: that RM22 million in the fund’s welfare arm Yayasan Tabung Haji had been diverted for political activities last year; and the savings fund’s 95 per cent stake sale in PT TH Indo Plantations, a plantation company which had owned 83,000 hectares of land in Indonesia, to PT Borneo Pacific for US$910 million (RM3.8 billion) in 2012.

PH leaders previously claimed TH was being used as a pyramid scheme where dubious deals were struck to pay out dividends to depositors.

The pilgrimage funds are government-guaranteed and are further straining the Treasury that is already struggling with a sovereign debt of RM1 trillion that the new PH administration can hardly afford.

The Singapore paper said the government is mulling several options for TH.

One of them is to slash dividends for the next few years so that TH’s profits from its diversified portfolios can offset the obligations to depositors and narrow the loss of assets.

But the paper analysed that such a move could increase public anger which would further dent PH’s popularity which according to opinion polls, has dropped below 50 per cent since it took Putrajaya half a year ago.

Another option the government is said be to considering is a revamp of TH’s 150 real estate assets globally, and its stakes in over 100 listed companies, though it will be years before the yields can be seen.

“If we simply impair or cash out on our bad investments, depositors will start withdrawing,” an anonymous senior official was quoted saying.

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

There is no transparency in this story. A personality or personalities within TH Group is still leaking out information, more so to foreign media, of information yet to be verified.

If there was actual dodgy happenings within any firm, then there are proper procedures have to be sorted out.

The foreign media quoted a senior PH official, which only provide the slant of this story is on a political bias.

Then again, the ruling party of the new Federal Government had been on ‘Blame-Game’ mode and overwhelming use the ‘Trial by Media’ bias and propaganda machine, to rationalise for their own failures of managing the nation.

The fact is that the economy is on a bearish trend when RM exchange to USD is on the rise, KLCI already lost 200points, commodity prices have gone down and Government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd. already lost almost RM65b in market capitalisation if it’s portfolios.

Maintaining the integrity and public confidence for TH, which is the primary agency to manage the savings and investments of Hajj pilgrims and use the proceeds for generation of Hajj operations, is very critical.

In any move, commercial or political, the interest of the 9.7million depositors, who are 100% Malay-Muslim and form the majority of Malaysians.

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 10:30  Leave a Comment