Waterloo in the Lowlands

Gerontocracy Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad saw another Waterloo defeat in agony and humiliation, with bigger losses in Semenyih last night five weeks right after the last one where his own party candidate’s poorly gaining on the shift of 10,000 votes since the last one.

PKR President and defacto Prime Minister-in-waiting Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim conceded that the sentiments of the rakyat is reflected by-election result.

CNA story:

Semenyih by-election result reflects feelings of the people: Anwar

image: data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

FILE PHOTO: Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim speaks during the Singapore Summit in Singapore

File photo of Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

BN and PAS have finally found solid similarities

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Barisan Nasional and Pas flags seen along the paddy field in Sungai Limau area during the run up of the Sungai Limau by-election, November 1, 2013. — Picture by KE Ooi

Barisan Nasional and Pas flags seen along the paddy field in Sungai Limau area during the run up of the Sungai Limau by-election, November 1, 2013. — Picture by KE Ooi

PETALING JAYA, March 3 — Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS’s success in the Semenyih by-election is a referendum that the Malays are not with the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) government as they feel it is DAP-dominated.

The two Malay-based parties had made their battle line clear before the by-election even began on February 16, the nomination day.

The political rivalry has been bitter and the Semenyih battle ground was rough where defending PH was put in a defensive position before the battle even started — unfulfilled May 9 general election promises and ridding the general perception that new Cabinet is DAP-dominated.

BN’ success was easy to read — with help and support from Islamist PAS whose members are loyal, combined election machinery which tentacles reached even the most remote houses in deep villages, a clear battle slogan which was to register to the ruling coalition that the new government is not protecting Malays and Islam.

In addition, the opposition fielded a popular man, Zakaria Hanafi, 58-year old administrative officer who has been helping out the community in mosques and suraus from wedding functions to funeral rites.

PH which fielded Malay-based Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) candidate, a 30-year old engineer Mohammad Aiman Zainali was a newbie who has had problem in blending with the Malay community in the constituency.

With issues laid down and most importantly the rising cost of living that is the basic bread and butter issue, PH in particular PPBM’s Aiman found himself pushed in a corner.

Aiman’s party PPBM had no election machinery which made him dependent and at the mercy of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which members had difficulties in penetrating the Malay hearts and minds.

Malay voters were the target of both rival parties as PH had the Chinese and Indian voters based on GE14 results last May, but with the perception that Malays are marginalised and Islam fundamentals being chipped off bit-by-bit, PPBM is seen as just a stool of the DAP.

On the side of the campaign trail which got PH losing focus of the real issue was the Bosku Datuk Seri Naiib Razak’s appearance that local Malays or rather hardcore voters waited patiently for.

Najib, whose appearance was not in the main campaign programme list had haunted PH leaders during the campaign trail to the extent PH forgot the main issues raised, but focused on Najib’s scandals.

Even Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made Najib the main gist of his speech rather than addressing the real issues raised and explaining the delay in fulfilling the coalition’s pledges.

The effect of PH lost in Semenyih is far reaching which PH leaders may brush aside — the coalition has widen the racial segregation and in turn increased the resentment of Malays towards the new Malaysia concept.

At the same time, PPBM is seen as a mosquito party in the coalition and it does not deserve to be treated on par with even Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), which is considered the weakest link in the coalition.

For BN and PAS, the Semenyih victory is proof that both parties have reached an understanding and solid platform upon which they can move forward and create a new political equation in the country’s political landscape and scenario.

 

The co-operation will now be moved further to Rantau state seat by-election in Negri Sembilan after proven success in Cameron Highlands and Semenyih. 

Published in: on March 3, 2019 at 19:44  Leave a Comment  

Pakatan Islam-Kafir

Gerontocracy Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is moving an inch closer into irrational thinking and lower level of his ‘strategy of hatred’ in the obsession to remain in power and growing threat of UMNO-PAS closer ties using utterly unacceptable name-calling.

Utusan Online story:

PH bersedia lawan gabungan UMNO dan Pas

Dr. Mahathir dakwa kerjasama parti Islam dan parti kafir

LANGKAWI 24 Feb. – Pengerusi Pakatan Harapan (PH), Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad tidak gentar dan bersedia berlawan dengan gabungan UMNO dan Pas dalam mana-mana pilihan raya.

Sambil menyifatkan Pas sebagai parti Islam dan UMNO sebagai parti kafir, Dr. Mahathir menegaskan, keutamaan kedua-dua parti tersebut khususnya Pas bukan kerana Islam sebaliknya hanya hendak menang pilihan raya semata-mata.

Dalam masa sama, beliau juga kesal dengan tindakan kepemimpinan tertinggi Pas yang sebelum ini berjanji tidak akan membantu kempen Barisan Nasional (BN) di Semenyih namun apa yang berlaku sekarang adalah sebaliknya.

“Saya juga tidak faham Pas ini, baru-baru ini, Hadi (Presiden Pas, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang), Setiausaha Agung Pas, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan ada datang bertemu saya dan membuat perjanjian itu.

“Tetapi semasa penamaan calon dan kempen, kita lihat Pas ada bersama. Jelas mereka sedang bekerjasama dengan UMNO. Susah hendak terima apa yang dibawa oleh Pas ini, sekejap begini, sekejap begitu.

“Tidak mengapa, Pas parti Islam dan UMNO parti kafir, biar mereka bersatu lawan PH. Kita sanggup hadapi pakatan Islam dan kafir ini,” katanya ketika ditemui selepas melancarkan Kampungku Sihat Peringkat Kebangsaan dan perjumpaan rakyat di Pusat Khidmat Ahli Parlimen Langkawi di sini, hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian bagi mengulas langkah Pemuda UMNO dan Pas yang bersepakat supaya tiada lagi pertembungan di antara dua parti itu yang akan menyebabkan berlakunya persaingan tiga penjuru dalam mana-mana pilihan raya selepas ini.

Ketua Pemuda UMNO, Datuk Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki dilaporkan berkata, satu jawatankuasa akan dibentuk di antara UMNO dan Pas selepas ini dan menuju Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-15 kedua-dua parti tersebut akan membina blok pembangkang kuat yang akan menumbangkan PH. – UTUSAN ONLINE

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This is a new record low for the ninety four year old statesman, who came back into mainstream politics assumed the Prime Ministership after fifteen years of retirement.

His strategy of ‘sowing hatred’ against UMNO has been heightened after he tried to get UMNO to get rid of then President UMNO VII Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak slightly over three years ago failed.

Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir has waged the war against PAS using the same strategy ever since he was defeated by PAS candidate Hj Yusof Rawa in the 3GE May 1969, half a century ago.

The desperation against UMNO-PAS co-operation is more prevalent despite Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir’s growth of 75% in power ‘market share’ within Pakatan Harapan with the admission to the nine defected UMNO MPs the past six months.

The ‘Cameron Highlands formula’ really hit PPBM really hard, on top of seemingly lame Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir’s leadership, especially for the Malay interests.

UMNO President Dato Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pronounced sixteen days ago the UMNO-PAS co-operation is for real and on the Ummah unity platform and not a political gimmick.

NST story:

Zahid: Umno-Pas cooperation not a political gimmick

FEBRUARY 8, 2019 @ 10:31AM 

BY BERNAMA

It is obvious of Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s desperation on the UMNO-PAS cooperation when he lied to proclaim that PAS would not support UMNO for the ongoing Semenyih by-election, two days after he met PAS President Dato Seri Haji Hadi Awang in the former’s office.

The Star story:

PAS will not support Umno, says PM


 

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS has formally stated it will not support Umno in the Semenyih by-election, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

“We talked politics, all sorts of poli­tics, including PAS in the Semen­yih by-election which they will not be supporting Umno,” he told re­­porters after launching Demo­cracy Fest 2019 here yesterday.

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Dr Mahathir met PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for 45 minutes at Yayasan Albukhary here on Friday.

Asked to explain his remarks that PAS would not support Umno in the by-election, Dr Mahathir said: “They (PAS) will not support Umno and this is what he (Abdul Hadi) in­form­ed me. There is an admission of this in writing which was signed.” 

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PAS had helped Umno during the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election and has also decided to sit out the Semenyih state by-election.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/02/17/pas-will-not-support-umno-says-pm/#PkgtvA38bGBmSlar.9

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It is the best position between the two Malay parties, ever since PAS was formed sixty seven years ago after some leaders of then the UMNO religious faction left to form the Islamist party.

Of course Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir would get himself out of the fix of this outrageous name-calling by stating

“Bukan saya yang kata ‘UMNO kafir”

Needless to say, this is by far his record low of over sixty years of politics.

Published in: on February 24, 2019 at 22:38  Leave a Comment  

The ‘Peril of Democracy’

It is time Gerontocracy Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to put his act together and no longer pander to the fragile ‘Marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows’, as the ‘Peril of Democracy’ already demonstrating its vicious spiral towards digression and eventual doom for the nation.

The Edge Daily story:

Dr Mahathir says Malaysians losing patience over election promises

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): Malaysians are losing patience and are starting to criticize the current government over its unfulfilled election promises, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in Kuala Lumpur Saturday (Feb 16).

While the people wanted to see immediate changes, the present administration is unable to implement quick reforms because of the legacy left behind by the previous government, he said in a keynote address at Democracy Fest 2019. “But like it or not, they have to bear with us and bear with the present government because it takes time to correct all the wrongs that have been done by the previous government,” he said.

Dr Mahathir’s government, which toppled the United Malays National Organization-led coalition in a shock election victory in May, has also been a target of the previous premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Najib posted a video of a car making a swift turn to criticize flip flops by the present administration and shared the phone numbers of two government offices to encourage ministers to speak to one another.

“Phones have existed since 1876,” Najib wrote in a Facebook post, after the finance minister expressed shock at an announcement made by the economic affairs minister. “At least call each other up once in a while.”

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Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir already demonstrating his restlessness, in just one week of events.

The Adviser of Parti Pengkitar-semulaan Buangan Melayu already grew 70% of his party’s market share within six months by last week’s unilateral admission of six UMNO MPs, against the will of PH coalition partners.

He also announced the Semenanjung Malay party which is actually an UMNO mirror and dissent into Sabah and lied about his meeting with PAS President Ustaz Dato’ Seri Haji Hadi Awang last Friday.

Political analyst Joceline Tan’s column in The Star:

Rumblings on the Malay ground 


A strange wind is blowing through Semenyih. 

That is the feeling on the ground even though the campaign has only just begun.

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In the run-up to the general election, one of the most powerful terms of attack used by the opposition against the then government was “rasuah” or corruption.

But now in Semenyih, the opposition’s most effective attack word is “tipu” (cheat or lie), a reference to Pakatan Harapan’s inability to deliver on its election promises.

The “tipu” rallying cry has resonated especially among the Malays, posing a dilemma for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia which is struggling to hold on to the seat.

But the start of the campaign has been dominated by a fascinating sideshow starring Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Dr Mahathir caused confusion among the main political players when he claimed that PAS had agreed not to support Umno in Semenyih. This came a day after a photo of the Prime Minister and Hadi exchanging a warm handshake went viral.

PAS leaders have since clarified that their cooperation with Umno in Semenyih still stands. 

At the same time, they admitted to supporting Dr Mahathir’s Malay and Islamic agenda.

To those unfamiliar with Malay politics, it looked like a love triangle – PAS is dating Umno while holding hands with Dr Mahathir.

But political insiders claimed that PAS’ support for Dr Mahathir has less to do with Semenyih than with what is known as the “grand design” aimed at preventing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from becoming the next prime minister.

The Prime Minister is aware of gossip of a vote of no confidence at the next sitting of Parliament and he wants as many MPs on his side as possible. 

All 18 MPs from PAS have also apparently signed statutory declarations to that effect.

In short, a Malay-Muslim configuration is in the process of forming behind the leadership of Dr Mahathir.

As for Dr Mahathir’s claim that PAS has ditched Umno in Semenyih, well, that is vintage Dr Mahathir for you. 

It has happened to many other people – they meet Dr Mahathir to talk about one thing and he emerges to say something else to his advantage. 

He did not live to become the world’s oldest prime minister by walking the straight and narrow path.

Nevertheless, Dr Mahathir has played PAS like a violin. He has cast doubts in the minds of PAS supporters, some of whom may now choose to support Bersatu candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali.

“People can say what they like, we are still working together on the ground,” said Selangor PAS election director Roslan Shahir of the joint PAS-Umno campaign.

Dr Mahathir should also check on the enemy within. The by-election is taking place at a time when ties between Pakatan partners are being tested.

The Bersatu chairman’s ongoing push to recruit ex-Umno leaders has embarrassed and ruffled feathers among his Pakatan partners.

They want him to stop but do not know how to tell him off. 

Even Parti Warisan Sabah chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, the king of the hill in Sabah, has caved in, saying that he has no power to stop Bersatu from setting up base in his state.

As such, there have been whispers of internal sabotage against the Bersatu candidate in Semenyih.

Bersatu is depending on PKR to run the show in Semenyih. But everyone has noticed that it is the faction aligned to Datuk Seri Azmin Ali that is going all out for Bersatu.

The PKR deputy president, widely seen as Dr Mahathir’s blue-eyed boy, has thrown his all into the campaign.

However, the sideshow involving Dr Mahathir and Hadi has had limited impact on the ordinary folk in Semenyih.

The buzzword in Semenyih has been “Bossku” a.k.a Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“We thought he was joking when he said he intends to steal the hearts of the people here but it is not a joke after all. He is going to be a central figure in the campaign,” said photo journalist Minaq Jinggo.

Najib’s popularity on the Malay ground has ballooned.

A large part of it has to do with the perception that the economy was better under him. 

There is also the sympathy factor – he has come across as the victim of a witch hunt with the overkill of court charges against him.

“He has positioned himself as the questioning voice of the opposition. His social media presence is very relatable and he has tapped into the people’s unhappiness over the economy,” said political commentator Amir Fareed Rahim.

He has ventured twice into Semenyih and the reception has been overwhelming.

On Sunday night, as he finished speaking at a ceramah at a low-cost housing enclave, the emcee urged the crowd to be orderly and not to mob Najib. 

But everyone ignored the emcee and surged forward to greet and take wefies with him, almost ignoring Umno candidate Zakaria Hanafi.

“No one in Pakatan was connecting with the Malay ground and Najib stepped into that role,” said Amir.

Anwar, given his personal charisma, should be playing that role but he has chosen to spend his time travelling and meeting foreign leaders.

The wind that blew Najib out of power may now blow Bersatu out of Semenyih.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2019/02/19/rumblings-on-the-malay-ground-be-prepared-for-surprises-in-the-semenyih-byelection-given-the-uncerta/#tcMYUfztuKRPpWw2.99

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It is also believed that the requested PH Presidential Council yesterday was cancelled.

The Pakatan Harapan coalition partner, has started to sound out for Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir to leave.

FMT story:

Perlekeh manifesto: Pemimpin DAP desak Dr M berundur

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Ahli Jawatankuasa DAP Johor, Boo Cheng Hau. (Gambar Facebook)

PETALING JAYA: Pemimpin DAP Johor, Dr Boo Cheng Hau, hari ini mendesak Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad meletak jawatan kerana memperlekeh manifesto Pakatan Harapan (PH) pilihan raya umum ke-14.

Boo, yang juga ahli jawatankuasa DAP negeri berkata, dakwaan Dr Mahathir bahawa manifesto itu hanya “panduan dan bukan kitab” menunjukkan beliau tidak berkeyakinan terhadap diri dan manifesto itu sendiri.

“Tindakan beberapa pemimpin PH mendakwa perubahan kerajaan tidak mungkin berlaku tanpa kepimpinan Dr Mahathir hanya mencerminkan kemerosotan diri mereka,” katanya.

Malah, katanya, mereka yang melontar pandangan sedemikian sudah mengaku ketidakcekapan diri dan juga harus meletak jawatan.

Boo turut menyelar tindakan PPBM menerima bekas ahli Parlimen Umno dan menggesa pimpinan PH mengambil pendirian bersama membantah amalan sedemikian.

“Malaysia memerlukan persaingan sihat dalam sistem 2 parti untuk memastikan pembaharuan institusi dilaksanakan secara berkesan,” katanya.

Sebaliknya, katanya, negara akan “ke belakang” jika wakil rakyat digalakkan untuk melompat parti.

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Even Parti Pengkitar-semulaan Buangan Melayu Presiden Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin is struggling to convince the Malays, that they are there to look after interest of the majority of Malaysians.

Case in point is the recent so called financial fiasco of Tabung Haji (TH) by the previous Government and management of ‘Illegal Hibah’ distributed and this provided the Minister-in-charge Mujahid Yusof to make the announcement ten weeks ago.

Hence, it warranted TH to be structured and the RM19.9billion worth of assets and investments deemed ‘problematic and bad’, be treated through the Classic Gerontocracy Dr Mahathir solution: Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

What is worrying the Malays is that not only the subsidy for Hajj Pilgrims would be rationalised, the SPV, Urus Jemaah Sdn. Bhd., is manned by TH staff but under the absolute control of the Minister of Finance.

DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng is the Minister and DAP Chief Strategist Tony Pua, is the Minister’s Political Secretary and head honcho of all exercise by the Minister.

Democracy, provided everyone the right for them to voice themselves out loud, be it appropriate or otherwise.

Never mind the fact that the Media Adviser to the Prime Minister, who happened to be an award winning journo and one time a media baron, openly using his blog to shell of the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Royal Institution.

Now, even a serving Court of Appeal Judge is freely voicing allegations that the Judiciary is being tampered by the Executive.

The Edge Daily story:

MACC meets Judge Hamid Sultan over allegations in his affidavit

PUTRAJAYA (Feb 18): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today met with Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Baker over his recent 63-page affidavit, filed last week, on allegations of judicial interference.

The meeting, aimed at gathering information related to the affidavit, took place at Hamid Sultan’s chambers at the Palace of Justice here.

“During the meeting, no recording of the conversation was carried out by the MACC,” the commission said in a statement.

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The MACC said it would study the information from the affidavit and continue investigations if there was ground concerning issues related to corruption and abuse of power in accordance with the provisions of the law stipulated in the MACC Act 2009.

The MACC also urged the public with information related to the matters set out in the affidavit to report directly to the nearest MACC office.

“Every informant will be protected under the Whistleblower Act 2010,” the MACC said.

The affidavit revealed, among others, explosive and detailed information in relation to numerous incidences of alleged judicial interference within the Malaysian judiciary, including alleged judicial interference in Karpal Singh’s sedition appeal decision at the Court of Appeal.

Hamid Sultan, in a meeting today, suggested the setting up of a special task force aimed at initiating the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), the MACC said.

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The over politicking of the ‘Blame Game’ now is intertwines with geo-Political relations and high level corporate game.

They say, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’. The simple case in point is the cancellation of the ECRL project from Port Klang through Pahang, East Coast of Terengganu and eventual terminal at Tumpat, Kelantan.

The mumbo-jumbo adverse statements and announcements between key Cabinet members back and forth is really leaving the nation baffled, and the nation into a laughing stock.

What is even damning is that the project involved a major foreign trade and geo-political super power and the cancellation/uncertainty is also about state owned corporations.

This is not withstanding the mockery of the democracy demonstrated by ruling Government leaders, in their greed and manifestation for the new found power and the mess they are creating disputing in public amongst themselves.

They say, desperate time seeks desperate measure.

Perhaps it is time to do away with this over politicking and get the reins of the nation and put it back on track for recovery.

The ‘democratic solution’, where too many people saying too many things on chaotic three-dimensional matter on just the same problem or issue, is simply impractical and not at all provide the avenue of getting things sorted out.

This is the ‘Peril of Democracy’. Like how the Brits decided on Brexit, mainly on playing the falsehood of sentiments against the reality of the future.

Now, they are suffering for the uncertainty and inability to get the democracy to agree on a plan, to move on and forward and mitigate everything downside about of the haste political decision, made by the majority.

The Brits should sought Prime Minister Churchill’s wartime ‘War Cabinet’ as a solution.

Probably, temporarily suspend Parliament and just get the experts to sort it out.

Malaysia did see this once. Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman declared Emergency on 15 May 1969 and National Operation Council under Director Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein, then Deputy Prime Minister, took over the reins of the nation.

The Parliament was suspended.

Of course, it was not at all democratic. Everything was sorted out by the NOC, which included roles played by the Parliament.

In less then two years, when NOC got the nation sorted out and everything was stabilised, it became better. That provided the stability, for the economic engine growth.

New Economic Policy, Rukun Negara and even a tighter all parties (PAS, Sabah and Sarawak parties with the exception of Chinese Chauvinists DAP) co-operation coalition came onboard and contributed to propel the nation forward.

One of the important economic policy that came out from this was taking Malaysia from a primary-industries based economy and moved towards industrialisation, which propelled under industries.

It is time for Gerontocracy Prime Minister to consider the best option, to move the nation forward in the neck of the confusion and inconsistency of the incompetency traits the current ruling Government is abundantly demonstrating, day to day.

Published in: on February 19, 2019 at 15:00  Leave a Comment  

Gerontocracy half century of grasp

Gerontocracy Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s disregard for anything but the grip for power and determination to grasp without any consideration for anything as anyone guised as ‘Preserving Democracy, Not Practicing Democracy’.

Malaysiakini story:

Mahathir’s shifting stand shows he can’t be trusted

P Gunasegaram
14 Feb 2019, 7:14 am (Updated 14 Feb 2019, 2:32 pm)

“We are mobile, we are not fixed.” – Dr Mahathir Mohamad when asked about party-hopping.

COMMENT | It’s rare that a newly elected leader (only for an interim period), elected by the rakyat because of promises made by the coalition he heads, breaks key promises in a short space of time, and says with a straight face that re-assessment has to be made in the face of changing developments.

This man, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who came to power as a result of a mass uprising against the kleptocratic Umno/BN government and who promised that he would not take defecting Umno/BN MPs, just two days ago handed out membership cards to seven such people with not so much as an apology for his action. Two others had defected earlier, making nine in all.

They were Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed (a former minister) who crossed over in October, Bagan Serai MP Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali who joined a month later, Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin who crossed over in December, Larut MP Hamzah Zainuddin (who is also a former minister), Mersing MP Abdul Latif Ahmad, Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya, Sabak Bernam MP Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh, Hulu Terengganu MP Rosol Wahid and Tanah Merah MP Ikhmal Hisham Abdul Aziz.

He justified this acceptance of the Umno MPs into the fold with his trademark twisted logic. Examples, as reported in theSun:

“I am now sitting on the same side as leaders I once attacked and mocked, but politicians are sometimes forced to jump ship according to circumstances.

“If you are tied to only one leader or party and stay with them even if they rob the people, then you are not a politician, but one who only cares for yourself.

“I was previously in Umno, and I left to join DAP, PKR and Amanah. But if they are no longer loyal to the country, I will also move to other parties. We are mobile, we are not fixed,” he added.

In his replies (you can watch the full press conference here), he ignored the fact that he is prime minister by virtue of other parties supporting him, for his own Bersatu had only 13 seats compared to PKR’s 47 and DAP’s 42 at the end of the last polls. What he is doing now, by accepting Umno MPs into the fold now, is a tacit support of those who, by omission, clearly supported the previous kleptocratic government.

Not just that, it has been reported that all Umno divisions received money from former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s personal account which, it was quite clear at the time and well before the elections of May 9 last year, received money which came from 1MDB.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported in July 2015 that some US$700 million had come into Najib’s accounts from 1MDB funds. This was confirmed later by the US Department of Justice which gave in detail the money trail. These people did not oppose Najib at all, but supported his kleptocratic acts by not voicing their concern and accepting to stand in the elections. They are, therefore, irrevocably tainted.

Bolstering his own position

Mahathir does not care if they are corrupt or immoral. The only reason that Mahathir is accepting these tainted people into Bersatu is to bolster his own position within the coalition from the paltry 13 MPs he had at the end of the election to 22 now, making it bigger than PAS with 18 MPs.

That is purely as a result of nine defections. The defections are legal partly because Mahathir, during his previous rule, refused to make it illegal to jump parties. However, they remain ethically and morally extremely repugnant and go against the grain of reform promised by Harapan.

Mahathir acquiescing to defections despite earlier opposition, opens the door very wide for Bersatu to accept virtually all of the other Umno MPs – some 40 odd, if you exclude those who are clearly unacceptable like Najib. In addition to some 16 others in Sarawak and perhaps four independents in Sabah, there are some 60 more. This could swell Bersatu’s combined support to some 82 MPs.

The implications of this are enormous. If DAP and Amanah throw in their lot with Mahathir, a total of 53 seats, Mahathir’s numbers increase to 135, enough to command a handsome majority in the 222-member house, even if PKR were to leave the coalition. Another 13, not forgetting possible defections from PKR’s 50 odd members, will give him a two-thirds majority.

If PKR, DAP and Amanah stuck it out and stayed together, then they will have some 103 seats. Include Warisan’s eight, and it takes the tally to 111, which comes to exactly 50 percent of the seats in Parliament. This puts PAS in a very strong position with their 18 seats, as kingmaker.

Things, of course, may not pan this way. Any number of things can happen in the interim. But it is very clear that the situation has become very fluid and uncertain because Mahathir has changed the rules of the game to suit himself and Bersatu, something he has done throughout his 22 years at the top between 1981 and 2003.

All this means that the political situation in this country has turned rather unstable because of Mahathir and because he has been constantly shifting his position and openly in defiance of coalition politics. He wants to be in total control all the time. Hopefully, he won’t have it his way this time around.

There were many who had misgivings about Mahathir joining the Harapan coalition, including this writer, given his past record as a dictator and an autocrat who used his party’s two-thirds majority in Parliament to introduce authoritarian laws and to control government institutions which should have remained independent.

A dangerous weapon

This is what I wrote in an article titled “Can Mahathir be trusted?” in April 2017, when there were moves to get Mahathir into the Harapan coalition: “If any one takes the trouble to remember what this man did and stood for, he would be mad to think that Mahathir is the solution – he was, and is, the problem. Without him and his 22 years of misrule, Malaysia would not have descended to what it is today.

“Mahathir was accountable to no one. Not the people, not the party, not the judges. He could do almost anything he pleased and get away with it using the apparatus and machinery of control he had put in place.

“He made opaque many decisions of government, putting anything marked secret by the government as secret under the law by removing the power of judges to judge even if the secret posed no danger to the country, but only embarrassed the government and exposed its corrupt ways.

“That was the legacy he left behind – and a leader who followed him used it to do nasty things, some worse than that by Mahathir. Now we expect Mahathir – the source of all this – to save us Malaysians from Najib!

“Is that why Mahathir is sticking his neck out? For the good of the country? But remember he had his chance – 22 years of it. He bungled – all he did was to stay in power and do the greatest damage to the country ever by any one, prime minister or not.

“His goal now is not to get into power, but to ensure that whoever comes into power does not destroy him. As far as Mahathir is concerned, it is always about him – not Malaysia, not Malaysians, not even the Malays.”

Now there are those who argue that he needs to get Umno members to obtain a two-thirds majority to change the constitution in order to reform. How stupid! Much of the reform that is needed can be done by just amending and scrapping laws which only needs a simple majority in Parliament.

To give Mahathir a two-thirds majority is to put into his hands a mega-weapon which he will not hesitate to use against anyone who opposes him. It is a dangerous weapon to put in the hands of a man who can not be trusted and who alters his promises to suit his ulterior motives.

Mahathir is not the person to reform this country, simply because he was ultimately responsible for most of its ills. His actions show he does not believe in reform or fair play. Mahathir blithely talks of loyalty to the nation for his shifting stand. Let’s not let him betray the rakyat who are what makes the nation.

P GUNASEGARAM says a leopard likes its spots too much to change them. E-mail: t.p.guna@gmail.com.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.
— Read on m.malaysiakini.com/columns/463894

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This analysis is the concise of what Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir, frame of mind and attitude is all about.

His consistent strategy to ‘Divide and Rule’ is the mark of ability to manage and gets his agenda through, despite the opposition to his ideas and plans within and of course, outside the Government.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 01:05  Comments (1)  

Divide and Rule

Gerontocracy Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is again up to his old tricks with the same ‘Divide and Rule’ strategy, in his typical play of hoodwinking for power through ‘Preserving democracy, not practicing democracy’.

Joceline Tan’s Sunday Political column in The Star:

Ties between Warisan and Pakatan to be tested


TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad is starting to flex his muscles.

Those who thought that he was senile and had lost the plot are starting to realise that they have underestimated him.

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The world’s oldest prime minister may not have the physical stamina but he is still on top of the game when it comes to out-manoeuvring his opponents.

His claim yesterday that PAS had agreed not to work with Umno in Semenyih has dealt a devastating blow to the Umno-PAS campaign in the by-election.

He claimed that this came about during his meeting with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and several PAS leaders.

The PAS side was completely blindsided. As far as they were concerned, the meeting with Dr Mahathir was about oil royalties during which the Prime Minister had complained about his DAP partner.

Two different accounts from each side – so who is telling the truth?

The truth will emerge eventually but what is clear for now is that Hadi has been outplayed by the Bersatu chairman. 

“Two overhauls to his engine but he can still scheme and outplay these people,” said a Bersatu politician, alluding to the heart bypasses that Dr Mahathir has had.

Dr Mahathir has been in a combative mood the past one week.

He took in seven ex-Umno MPs last week knowing that his partners in Pakatan Harapan were against it.

Dr Mahathir hails from an era where gentlemen do not use bad words but what he did was akin to showing the middle finger to his partners.

He also gave Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal the proverbial slap in the face when he announced on Friday that his party would be going into Sabah.

The move goes against the wishes of the Warisan president. Shafie is said to be deeply upset and sees it as a stab in the back.

Pakatan, which won only 113 seats in the general election, would be teetering on the edge of a cliff without back-up from Warisan.

Shafie is the big boss in Sabah and his thinking is that there can only be one tiger on the hill. But now he has to share the hilltop with a bigger tiger.

“I don’t think Shafie will rock the boat. Sabah needs federal support and he cannot afford to play hardball,” said PKR politician Lee Chin Cheh.

Besides, said Lee, Warisan has three ministers in Putrajaya as well as several deputy ministers.

But ties between Warisan and Pakatan will be severely tested.

Why is Dr Mahathir so adamant about setting up base in Sabah?

Bersatu is seen as another Umno in Sabah while Dr Mahathir is known as “Bapa Projek IC”, a scandalous conspiracy to grant citizenship to Muslim illegal immigrants.

Well, size matters in politics and Dr Mahathir wants to absorb the ex-Umno leaders, especially those who are MPs, into Bersatu.

He needs them to build up his party’s profile ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle expected in May, after the government’s first anniversary in power.

The party now has 22 MPs and there are five more MPs from Umno in Sabah waiting to come on board.

There has been so much talk of multiracial parties being the way ahead for Malaysia but the reality is that many Muslims want to join a Malay-Muslim party.

They are not drawn to Warisan or PKR whose multi-ethnic structure is not their cup of tea.

This is the market that Dr Mahathir is planning to tap into.

According to a political insider, Dr Mahathir has been frustrated by his party’s inability to make inroads into Umno areas in the peninsula.

He thinks that it may be easier in Sabah. The value system in Sabah is different, they have no political ideologies and people there have no fixed political loyalties. 

The political history of Sabah shows that its people are not afraid to go for change and to try out new parties.

The additional numbers will give Dr Mahathir greater clout in the ruling coalition and lend some credence to his dream of replacing Umno among the Malays.

Of course, many think that accepting crossovers from an enemy party does not equate to clout or strength. 

The Chinese have a saying for this sort of borrowed strength – it is known as taking someone else’s backside to put on your face.

According to the political insider, Dr Mahathir has also been somewhat obsessed with controlling Sabah and Sarawak. He sees these states as a sort of final frontier.

Moreover, said the insider, Dr Mahathir has never governed without a two-thirds majority.

“I think he will only feel comfortable with a two-thirds majority. I sense he feels quite helpless surrounded by strange bedfellows,” said the insider.

All these political moves are perceived as part of Dr Mahathir’s grand design as the mid-point of his tenure approaches.

He is due to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by May next year.

Anwar in an interview with CNN implied that he is tired of being constantly asked about the succession and he wants to give Dr Mahathir the space to govern.

Anwar has only soft and friendly words for Dr Mahathir and prefers to spend his time looking after his Port Dickson constituency, giving talks and globe-trotting.

But in politics, calm waters can be quite dangerous.

There has been so much speculation that Dr Mahathir is grooming someone else to succeed him. 

Too many people have come away from private meetings with Dr Mahathir claiming that he does not intend to pass the baton to Anwar. The Anwar circle, on the other hand, suggests that they have the numbers to make a move but they are playing it cool, waiting for Dr Mahathir to blink first.

There is also talk that “something” may happen at the next session of Parliament which starts in March and ends in April. But who will blink first?



Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2019/02/17/ties-between-warisan-and-pakatan-to-be-tested/#3kw2Mgiv0Kxv6STw.99

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This is on top of outright lie about “PAS promise not to support UMNO” after his meeting with PAS President Dato’ Seri Haji Hadi Awang.

https://youtu.be/sdTf8KCvdBM

Also mainstream media coverage

Utusan Malaysia Online story:

Pas tidak akan sokong UMNO di Semenyih – Dr. Mahathir

Pas tidak akan sokong UMNO di Semenyih – Dr. Mahathir

TUN Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

TUN Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. – UTUSAN ONLINE

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The fact is that the pudding is in the eating. PAS representative is the promoter for the BN candidate for the DUN Semenyih by-election at the nomination less than 24 hours later.

Obviously, Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir tried to hoodwink the Malaysian public, in his usual strategic game of ‘Divide and Rule’, to put the mistrust of UMNO against PAS.

He has been very consistent about this since being humiliated for losing the Kota Setar Selatan 3GE in May 1969 to PAS Ulama’ Hj Yusof Rawa.

The vindication still remain, after half a century.

The desperation of Gerontology Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir is becoming more apparent as Prime Minister-in-waiting Anwar “Mat King Leather” is heightening his manuevres.

The popularity of the former is said to be waning, especially when many of the ‘Big Ticket Items’ of the PH promises for the 14GE has not been the very least on the road to be introduced, let alone deliver.

It is abundantly clear that Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir is unable to control his Cabinet, let alone provide strong, effective and productive leadership. The recent cock-ups on the handling of Major Federal Government projects, namely ECRL and HSR is very embarrassing.

It is also spiralling grievously on foreign policies and matters that are linked to bi-lateral and multilateral trade with partners such as China, Singapore, Indonesia.

For a matter of fact, in the final analysis majority of the Malaysian populous already feeling the pinch of an economy on the decline, despite 4Q Bank Negara Malaysia economic report presented the economic growth slowed down by only 1% compared Year-on-Year previous position.

Goods and services already on the rise across the board the Ringgit has shrunken. Worst hit is those in primary industries, where commodity prices are at a record low which is heading towards impoverishing the small holders, farmers and the eco-system that is going along with it.

Anwar’s is said to be riding on this as his prominence within PH is getting stronger.

Punters already making permutation on Anwar’s ability to garner support, from the MPs.

It said that DAP is strongly behind Anwar, where as in his own party 80% would be with him, instead of Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir, at most with Azmin’s 10MPs at the most.

It would be more likely that Sarawak Chief Minister Dato’ Pattinggi Abang Johari Abang Hj Openg’s Sarawak Alliance GBS 19MPs would be for Anwar and so will eight of PAN’s MPs.

That is 40 + 42 + 19 + 8 = 109.

If Anwar could get a just a handful of BN’s MPs, then Gerontology Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s days are really numbered.

This is despite the latter’s ability to grow his ‘market share’ by 41% from thirteen to twenty two in less than six months.

The warning on the PH Government will eventually crumble and fall due to inability to deliver, is a very clear message that he is not in control and the Federal Government by PH is out of control.

Astro Awani story:

Kotakan janji atau kerajaan akan tumbang – Dr Mahathir

Kotakan janji atau kerajaan akan tumbang - Dr Mahathir

Dr Mahathir ketika membuat lawatan ke pameran sempena Festival Demokrasi Kuala Lumpur FORSEA di Black Box Publika, Kuala Lumpur, 16 Feb, 2019. –fotoBERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata, mana-mana kerajaan akan tumbang jika gagal mengotakan janji yang dibuat kepada rakyat.

Beliau berkata keadaan ini juga akan berlaku kepada kerajaan pimpinan Pakatan Harapan (PH) selepas mengambil alih pemerintahan negara daripada Barisan Nasional (BN) berikutan kemenangan gabungan pembangkang pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 (PRU14).

“Rakyat telah memutuskan bahawa sekarang adalah masa untuk pembangkang mengambil alih kuasa dan pembangkang telah membuat banyak janji. Jadi sekarang negara sedang memerhatikan kerajaan pembangkang ini melaksanakan janji-janji itu.

“Tetapi malangnya mereka (PH) mendapati diri mereka tidak dapat melaksanakan banyak janji mereka. Jadi, kini bermula pusingan seterusnya untuk memperlekehkan kerajaan,” katanya ketika menyampaikan ucaptama pada perasmikan Festival Demokrasi Kuala Lumpur 2019 di sini pada Sabtu.

Festival lima hari itu dianjurkan oleh Gerakan Pembaharuan Untuk Asia Tenggara (FORSEA).

Turut hadir, Menteri Pertahanan, Mohamad Sabu dan Menteri Besar Selangor, Amirudin Shari.

Dr Mahathir menegaskan bahawa usaha untuk menunaikan semua janji itu tidak mudah kerana sebahagiannya daripada situasi yang ditinggalkan oleh kerajaan sebelum ini amat buruk di mana langkah-langkah pembetulan dan pemulihan amat sukar.

“Tetapi rakyat ingin melihat perubahan sekarang. Sama ada mereka suka atau tidak, mereka perlu sabar dengan kerajaan sekarang kerana ia memakan masa untuk membetulkan segala salah laku oleh kerajaan terdahulu,” katanya.

Perdana Menteri menegaskan bahawa sistem yang sesuai dan terbaik untuk menukar sesebuah kerajaan adalah melalui demokrasi sedangkan sistem lain tidak dapat membawa perubahan secara damai.

“Ia memerlukan kemahuan minda atau budaya kecuali perubahan yang berlaku hanya dengan sokongan rakyat. Di masa lalu, apabila ada kerajaan autoritarian, perubahan hanya berlaku menerusi revolusi, revolusi yang ganas, perang saudara yang boleh memusnahkan negara.

“Tetapi dalam proses demokrasi, sokongan kerjasama rakyat boleh membawa kepada perubahan kerajaan. Oleh itu, walaupun  ketidaksempurnaannya namun ia masih menjadi sistem urus tadbir yang terbaik,” katanya.

Dr Mahathir, yang juga pengerusi PH, berkata Malaysia telah berjaya menerapkan sistem demokrasi dalam pilihan raya umum yang lalu apabila rakyat mengundi untuk perubahan dalam kerajaan buat pertama kali sejak 61 tahun tanpa sebarang keganasan dan proses peralihan kerajaan berjalan dengan lancar.

“Kita menyaksikan perubahan kerajaan berlaku akibat proses demokrasi dalam pilihan raya. Biasanya, mereka yang berkuasa akan cuba mengekalkan kedudukan mereka walaupun berdepan dengan semua bantahan.

“Mereka akan melakukan semua perkara yang salah tetapi malangnya mereka tidak berjaya.

“Justeru, peralihan kuasa daripada kerajaan berusia 61 tahun kepada kerajaan baharu ini telah dicapai tanpa keganasan. Tiada pergaduhan, kemusnahan dalam negara, tiada peperangan saudara atau apa-apa jua, sebaliknya sokongan padu kepada pembangkang.

“Kerajaan yang sekian lama memerintah terpaksa menerima hakikat bahawa mereka telah hilang kuasa,” katanya.

Dr Mahathir memberi peringatan bahawa sistem demokrasi ini tidak boleh diambil ringan kerana ia bukan sistem yang sempurna dan mempunyai banyak kelemahan yang boleh dieksploitasi.

Beliau menjelaskan apabila rakyat menukar kerajaan, kebersamaan dalam kerajaan baharu untuk memerintah amat penting dan jika tidak akan wujud kekacauan serta tidak membawa manfaat kepada peralihan demokrasi.

— BERNAMA

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Hence, Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s game to extend his precarious position is continue the ‘Divide and Rule Strategy’.

*Updated 1700hours

More reports on the Friday meeting between Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir and PAS President Hj Hadi

The Malay Mail Online story:

PAS says backing for Dr M only on Islamic agenda, not Semenyih by-election

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 ― PAS has denied that it signed a letter agreeing not to support Umno in the Semenyih by-election, according to a report by Sinar Harian Online

This follows after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had revealed that PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had stated, in writing, not to support Umno in the ongoing by-election.

PAS Election Director Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said this is merely a form of psychological warfare from Dr Mahathir to try and influence the by-election.

Ahmad Samsuri further explained that PAS had signed only signed a letter supporting Dr Mahathir in strengthening the Islamic, Malay and the people’s agenda as a whole.

“So PAS stands behind the prime minister in that agenda and it has got nothing to do with the Semenyih by-election.

“It is also the same (support) we gave before, in supporting the prime minister’s view on not ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” he said.

Following Dr Mahathir’s revelations, Abdul Hadi had clarified that he had met with the prime minister to discuss administrative ties between the federal government and the Terengganu state government.

It was reported that Ahmad Samsuri, who is also Terengganu Mentri Besar and PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan was also present at the meeting.

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What is interesting is the statement that PAS issued on the said meeting:

*Updated midnight

PAS would work with Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir if and when PPBM has been betrayed by PH component partners.

Astro Awani story:

Pas akan sokong Tun M jika berlaku pengkhianatan dalam PH – Takiyuddin

MARANG: Pas akan berdiri teguh menyokong kepimpinan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad jika berlaku pengkhianatan dalam pentadbiran kerajaan Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Setiausaha Agungnya, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan berkata Pas komited dalam mempertahankan agama, negara dan bangsa dari sebarang bentuk ancaman.

Menurut Takiyuddin, bagi tujuan itu, Pas mengemukakan surat perakuan bertulis kepada Dr Mahathir selaku Pengerusi Bersatu dalam pertemuan yang berlangsung Di Yayasan Al-Bukhary, Kuala Lumpur, Jumaat lalu.

“Yang berhormat Tok Guru presiden kita dan juga Pas sendiri, seolah-olah kita menghidu sesuatu yang mungkin (terjadi) dalam kerajaan kita ni sehingga Tun sendiri mengeluarkan kenyataa jika ada parti komponen PH melakukan pengkhiatan kepada negara, beliau akan mengambil tindakan yang sewajarnya.

“Jadi kami melihat ini sesuatu yang merbahaya kepada negara. Oleh sebab itulah kita menyatakan sokongan,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian selepas Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Harian Pas Pusat yang dipengerusikan presiden parti Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang di pejabat Kesatuan Ulama Islam Sedunia (KUIS) di Marang, petang Ahad.

Menurut Takiyuddin, perakuan bertulis itu adalah tanda sokongan Pas terhadap kepimpinan Dr Mahathir atas dasar menjaga kepentingan agama, negara dan bangsa sehingga Pilihan Raya Umum ke-15 (PRU15).

Tun mahathir sebelum ini membuat kenyataan bahawa akan mengambil tindakan sewajarnya terhadap mana-mana parti komponen PH yang melakukan pengkhianatan kepada negara.

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This manifested the precarious position that Gerontocracy Prime Minister Dr Mahathir is facing with his PH coalition partners and the fragile co-operation is crumbling.

Published in: on February 17, 2019 at 10:15  Comments (2)  

Big dreams (courtesy of Istana Bukit Tunku) morning

Economic development plans and strategic programs for Kedah is almost non-realisable for Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s second round of Menteri Besar-ship but with the exception of his personal obsession of building a brand new airport for Northern Corridor which is in South Kedah area.

NST story:

RM1.6 billion Kulim International Airport project will kick off, not mere words – Kedah MB

DECEMBER 13, 2018 @ 6:00PM  

BY HAMZAH OSMAN

It is very interesting that MB Mukhriz is focused on capitalising on the limitation of Penang’s Bayan Lepas International Airport not able for further expansion and the growth potential for air logistics, particularly cargo operations.

The NST report also mentioned that Federal Government is not against this infrastructure project, provided if it is developed on a Private Financing Initiative (PFI).

It is interesting how to mobilise this project fully on PFI model.

First of all, thousands of acres are required to be acquired for the project, to start with.

Then the construction. At the same time, all the leg work to get the airport operations and businesses, particularly to get international cargo traffic into the new airport.

Usually, a new airport would either be in an existing one or operations of an original airport be transferred into the new one.

Just like KLIA moved from Subang to its present site in Sepang in August 1997. Later, Subang was turned into a community airport.

There is definitely merit in this idea. However, it is an infrastructure right at the top of the pyramid and lesser but more realisable low fruit infrastructure projects MB Mukhriz should give attention to and priority, ahead of such a mega project.

The Kedah State Government isn’t in the position to start this mega project of. They neither have the capital nor competency.

It is then up to other agencies, like Northern Corridor, to kick this off. Along with firms with massive estates in the said area, like Sime Darby Plantations.

Then again, if Sime Darby Plantations would be game in such a strategic investment.

The new Kulim cargo airport would have to ‘pinch’ the growth now being enjoyed by Penang International.

The Star story:

Export cargo volume at Penang airport seen rising 8%


GEORGE TOWN: The volume of export cargo handled at the Penang International Airport is projected to rise by 8% in 2018 to 69,630 tonnes from 65,747 tonnes in 2017.

Penang Freight Forwarders Association secretary-general Ali Ahmad told StarBiz the increase indicated that the local electrical and electronic (E&E) industries was in a healthy state.

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“The feedback on export figures for the third quarter has been positive.

“We expect a slight decrease in the final quarter, as most of the finished electronic goods have already been shipped out in the third quarter,” he said.

Finished electronic goods make up about 70% of the export cargo, according to Ali.

“The export from the Free Industrial Zone has risen steadily since three years ago,” he said.

The imported cargo handled, however, is forecast to decline by 12% to 58,000 tonnes from 65,305 tonnes in 2017.

“The decrease has to do with a weaker ringgit, which made buying from overseas expensive,” Ali said.

He added that if not for the competition from Middle-Eastern Airlines that offer competitive freight rates operating from KL International Airport, the export cargo figures from Penang International Airport would be higher.

“It would easily be a growth of 15% and not 8%,” he added.

Ali said the federal and state governments should quickly look into making the establishment of an integrated cargo complex at the Penang International Airport a reality.

“Currently, there are two cargo terminals. An integrated cargo complex would cut operational costs of freight forwarders and shorten clearance time,” he said.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/12/10/export-cargo-volume-at-penang-airport-seen-rising-8/#L6PDx7vZXafWUzoZ.99

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If compounded of 8% year-on-year, probably it could reach in the neighbourhood of 50% from the current level in five years time.


The contentious point, like anything with the Pakatan Harapan since taking over nine months ago is the ability to follow through.

Would MB Mukhriz able to muster the follow through of such a mega project, when there is so much uncertainty pertaining to politics, be it at national level, within the PH coalition, within PPBM and even at Kedah level.

Published in: on February 11, 2019 at 10:00  Leave a Comment  

Time to reshuffle

The Cambridge International University fiasco with the Deputy Foreign Minister Dato’ Marzuki Yahya’s credibility and integrity is under a lot of flak provided a good opportunity for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to reshuffle the Cabinet and top party posts.

Joceline Tan column in The Star:

Marzuki looks to Dr M to save him from scandal



Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/analysis/2019/02/09/marzuki-looks-to-dr-m-to-save-him-from-scandal-the-fake-degree-firestorm-that-is-threatening-to-brin/#hi1LWVwtI71QwmFd.99

The fake degree firestorm that is threatening to bring down the Deputy Foreign Minister could not have happened at a worse time for Bersatu. 

DEPUTY Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s political career was on the rise, especially after he was appointed to the key post of secretary-general of Bersatu.

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But the ground seems to be crumbling under his feet ever since the news broke about his fake university degree.

The Kedah-born Marzuki is fighting for his survival even as the cruel world of social media has pronounced him guilty and is demanding that he resigns from his Foreign Ministry job.

There is a firestorm of public opinion out there over what has been dubbed the “Scam-bridge scandal”.

Nobody, including Marzuki himself, had questioned post-May 9 media reports that he graduated from the prestigious Cambridge University.

But when the scandal broke, Marzuki clarified that it was Cambridge International University in the United States which, to his further embarrassment, turned out to be a degree mill.

By then, the issue had acquired a life of its own, beyond his control or that of his party.

The prevailing opinion on social media is that if he cannot be honest about something as simple as his academic background, how can he be trusted on affairs of state?

It has been pointed out that if this was the private sector, the person would have been fired without further ado because it is a question of his credibility and integrity.

The question on everyone’s lips is whether Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will take the necessary action to safeguard the image of his government and party.

As former Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi pointed out, the collateral damage to Bersatu is high given that Marzuki is the party’s secretary-general.

It is not only the party of the Prime Minister, Bersatu is supposed to be the backbone of Pakatan Harapan, and it aims to replace Umno as the party of choice for Malays.

“It’s messy and it looks quite indefensible because he is not a small fry. He has a big post and is the face of our Foreign Ministry,” said Ooi.

And as some have pointed out, where is Malaysia going to put her face when Marzuki comes face-to-face with, for example, Singapore ministers, many of whom are genuine Oxbridge products.

“I have known Marzuki since our days in Umno Youth, and he never claimed he was from Cambridge University. My personal experience with him is that he is always supportive and has integrity as a politician,” said Bersatu supreme council member Akhramsyah Sanusi.

But Akhramsyah, who is also Mara Corp chairman, admitted he was shocked by the public furore.

“I want to stress that he was chosen as a deputy minister mainly for his experience and sacrifices for the party.

“We want our leaders to be of the highest integrity but I also believe in giving people a second chance,” said Akhramsyah.

The Marzuki scandal could not have happened at a worse time for Bersatu which is facing a pivotal by-election in Semenyih.

It also opened the floodgates to greater scrutiny of the educational background of other Pakatan leaders including two Mentris Besar, both of who are from Bersatu.

Several Pakatan leaders have jumped to their defence, saying that one does not need a degree to be an effective politician.

They are perfectly right except that the issue here concerns the integrity of politicians who have fake qualifications.

Marzuki is also on the threshold of possibly being declared the real winner for the Tasik Gelugor parliamentary seat in Penang.

Marzuki, who lost the seat in the general election by only 81 votes, applied to the courts for a recount on the grounds there were 297 unreturned postal votes and 689 spoilt votes.

The scandal has cast a pall over the court application.

Those familiar with Dr Mahathir do not expect him to ask Marzuki to resign.

The elderly leader has a track record of defending the indefensible for as long as the person is his loyalist. 

But this is New Malaysia. If Dr Mahathir decides to save Marzuki, he will not get the same docile reaction from the public as during his first round as Prime Minister.

Nevertheless, he will have the last say as the Prime Minister and chairman of his party.

The fake degree scandal underscores the perception that Bersatu is seriously short of qualified and capable people to fill government posts. This issue is one more reason why Dr Mahathir should reshuffle his Cabinet sooner rather than later.

It will be awkward for Marzuki to continue in foreign affairs. If Dr Mahathir decides to keep him, he may want to put Marzuki where he does not have to represent the country.

Perhaps the most baffling thing about this whole rigmarole is that in the Internet era, where almost everything one does has a digital footprint, there are still people who think they can get away with faking their academic qualifications.

“Let this serve as a lesson for New Malaysia,” said Ooi.


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This created a lot of ruckus and heated, be it in in the mainstream and social media.

Utusan Online story:

Rakyat wajib bangkit menentang, jatuhkan pemimpin ‘sijil palsu’ – Penganalisa

KUALA LUMPUR 9 Feb. – Masyarakat Malaysia wajib bangkit menentang dan menjatuhkan pemimpin yang mempunyai kelayakan akademik palsu kerana dilihat mempimpin negara ini dalam kepalsuan.

Perkara itu ditegaskan oleh Profesor Penyelidikan Dasar dan Pengajian Antarabangsa Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Murad Merican yang menyifatkan tiada tolak ansur berhubung dakwaan berkenaan kerana hal itu melibatkan etika politik.

Sambil mempersoalkan mengapa terdapat segelintir golongan yang berpendidikan masih menerima pemimpin ‘palsu’ itu atas dasar kejujuran, Dr. Ahmad Murad menggesa Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) mesti mewujudkan kod amalan parti dan ahli parti politik.

“Mengapa perlu kita bertoleransi terhadap pemimpin palsu yang memalsukan imej mereka? Mengapa perlu kita terima mereka sebagai Timbalan Menteri (luar), menteri besar atau Menteri Kabinet?

TRANSKRIP dan sijil Ijazah Sarjana Muda Pentadbiran Perniagaan yang dimiliki Datuk Marzuki Yahya dar

TRANSKRIP dan sijil Ijazah Sarjana Muda Pentadbiran Perniagaan yang dimiliki Datuk Marzuki Yahya dari Cambridge International University (CIU) Amerika Syarikat. – UTUSAN ONLINE

“Mengapa mereka yang terdidik, tidak kira kelayakan asalkan dipaparkan dengan jujur, menerima mereka yang palsu ini sebagai pemimpin kita di Malaysia? Warga negara wajib bangkit menentang dan menjatuhkan mereka yang memimpin kita dalam kepalsuan. Tiada tolak ansur dalam hal ini.

“SPR mesti mewujudkan kod amalan parti dan ahli parti politik. Pengawalan selia politikus mesti dilaksanakan. ‘Enough is enough’,” tegasnya dalam status hantaran di laman Facebook rasminya, Ahmad Murad Merican, di sini hari ini.

Utusan Malaysia hari ini melaporkan isu ‘sijil palsu’ Timbalan Menteri Luar, Datuk Marzuki Yahya kini mendapat perhatian antarabangsa apabila agensi berita, AFP mela¬porkan mengenainya.

Selepas cerita ‘sijil palsu’ Marzuki, orang ramai mula meragui kelayakan Menteri Besar, Datuk Osman Sapian yang mendakwa mempunyai ijazah dan diploma Perakaunan dari Universiti Pertanian Malaysia yang kini dikenali sebagai Universiti Putra Malaysia. – UTUSAN ONLINE

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And Sinar Harian story:

Ijazah palsu, MB Johor hanya tersenyum

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There is also now a new public discourse mainly through social media on Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s Degree from National University of Singapore.

The Star Online story:

Zuraida: I never claimed I was an NUS graduate


PETALING JAYA: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says that she never claimed to be a graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

“I have never claimed or held myself to be a graduate of NUS and I have never authorised anyone else to do so,” she said.

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Zuraida added that she was disappointed that no one had verified the fact with her before the news was published.

She was responding to allegations that her academic credentials had been falsified after a Twitter user said he was unable to find her name on the NUS’ online degree verification portal.

https://cloud-video.unrulymedia.com/8Ku1G-1548058883953-1125.mp4?0

The tweet included a Bernama infographic, which stated that she had obtained a social science degree from the University of Singapore.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbernamaofficial%2Fphotos%2Fa.10150341276330555%2F10156497276630555%2F%3Ftype%3D3&width=500

On its website, NUS stated that it was established in 1980 after a merger between the University of Singapore and Nanyang University.

Zuraida also said that she was not responsible for any wrongful information online which stated that she was an NUS graduate.

A check revealed that there have been numerous edits to her Wikipedia page to reflect that Zuraida had graduated from “Harvard University of higher learning” and even a “Syok Sendiri University”.

However, Wikipedia shows that the username of the person who made those changes does not exist.

There are six autonomous universities in Singapore including the NUS.

Others are Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Social Sciences.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/02/09/zuraida-i-never-claimed-i-was-an-nus-graduate/#EklSWeSJouBiLPeQ.99

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This is very appalling.

Imagine, what are HE Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Charge d’Affairs to Kuala Lumpur representing their Kings, Queens and/or Presidents and the people, are reporting back to their leaders, on the matter of education integrity pertaining to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Addendum: Other Cabinet Ministers and Menteri Besars also.

What does it reflect about us, Federation of Malaysia and Malaysians.

It is time to make changes. It is time for Cabinet and party Supreme Council positions to be reshuffled.

Bring in more credible leaders, within the party into the centre court and replace these leaders with doubtful education qualification and their dodgy attitude of not being truthful about it.

Example of party leaders worthy to be considered, Dato’ Dr Rais Hussin, Akramsyah Muammar Ubaidullah Sanusi, Tariq Mustapha and Wan Shahrir.

One note from a staunch PPBM supporter:

1. Beberapa hari ini, isu mengenai kelulusan akademik YB Datuk Marzuki Yahya hangat diperkatakan di merata tempat, malah di luar negara.

2. Isu kelulusan akademik sebegini bukanlah isu yang baru. Malah beberapa personaliti politik dan bisnes pernah diselubungi isu yang sama.

3. Namun begitu, mereka tidak memegang jawatan di dalam Kabinet Kerajaan Malaysia.

4. Kita mesti memegang ahli2 eksekutif Kerajaan Malaysia di standard integriti dan moral yang tinggi.

5. Oleh yang demikian, untuk memelihara integriti Kerajaan dan Parti, adalah wajar YB Datuk Marzuki untuk melepaskan jawatan Kerajaan serta Setiausaha Agung PPBM.

6. Tambahan lagi, kerajaan mesti diberi ruang untuk terus fokus kepada isu2 negara, tanpa dihindari oleh isu2 peribadi pemimpin.

7. Untuk menangani isu ini, lantiklah pengganti beliau individu yang mempunyai latar belakang akademik yang cemerlang agar ini membuktikan kepada Rakyat bahawa PPBM mempunyai pemimpin yang hebat.

AA: 9/2/19

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Even level headed staunch party supporters making this call. The matter of integrity has to be resolved.

Published in: on February 9, 2019 at 14:45  Leave a Comment  

Ghost of Chinese New Year past

Even when one revere others placing them too high on a pedestal, it is not necessary that one gets the reciprocity on how they reflect on one, based in the past and how is one heading and moving forward, more over after a fresh opportunity to start and do something better.

Asia Nikkei Review story:

Mahathir still living in the shadow of Lee Kuan Yew

Recent tough stance toward Singapore reflects rocky relations of the past

TOKYO — Malaysia’s hard-line attitude with Singapore over a territorial dispute reflects the often fractious relationship that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had with his peer, the late Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of the city-state.

The two countries have always had differences, but under former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, cooperation was on the rise. Now, with his successor Mahathir leading the country, Malaysia is walking back on previous agreements with its neighbor while ramping up tensions.

Its latest jabs at Singapore include extending the limits of Johor Bahru port into disputed waters and restricting flights by Singapore airplanes in Malaysian airspace. An emergency foreign ministerial meeting on Jan. 8 temporarily cooled tensions, but relations remain rocky.

After being swept into power last May, the Mahathir administration postponed until 2020 construction on a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore that would have cut land travel between the two cities to 90 minutes. Mahathir has also suggested hiking the price of water it supplies to Singapore, and is reviewing a stock market link that was proposed to smooth cross-border retail trading.

Najib’s approach to Singapore was markedly different. His administration promoted the huge Malaysia Iskandar development project in the state of Johor bordering Singapore, and kicked off the high-speed rail plan on which Iskander depends.

The Singapore Strait is a strategic waterway for both Singapore and Malaysia.   © Reuters

He also settled a long-simmering issue involving Malayan Railways, which formerly operated trains into the center of Singapore — a situation regarded as a drag on urban development. The city later praised Najib after his administration relocated the railway’s terminus closer to the border and returned land it had occupied back to the city.

Najib and current Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are 65 and 66, respectively. Their fathers, Razak Hussein and Lee Kuan Yew, also served as prime minsters. These similarities helped the two forge a bond that resulted in good relations between the countries.

Some analysts are now wondering what went wrong since Mahathir’s return to power. But the answer is fairly clear: He is simply “doing the reverse” of Najib, according to Jun Onozawa, visiting researcher at the Institute for International Trade and Investment.

The Mahathir coalition won last year’s election on a wave of public discontent directed against Najib’s alleged corruption, among other things. Now, Mahathir’s backtracking on the former prime minister’s policies is straining relations with Singapore, Onozawa said.

History also is playing a part in the current state of affairs, as the late Lee Kuan Yew had a somewhat contentious relationship with his former counterpart.

Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957 and Singapore followed later. Due to its lack of resources, however, the city became a Malaysian state in 1963.

It was not the best of unions. The central government of Malaysia, comprised primarily of indigenous Malays, and the state government of Singapore, its members largely of Chinese descent, often quarreled. Mahathir, then a young member of Malaysia’s parliament, demanded that the country’s majority Malays have more rights, while Lee espoused equal rights for all, including Chinese and Indians.

Fearing a rise in ethnic tensions, Malaysia expelled Singapore from the union after the two had been together for only 23 months. “For me, it is a moment of anguish,” Lee said at the time, and cried when he met the press as the first prime minister of Singapore — a nation with little land and scant resources.

From then, the two countries embarked on different paths. Malaysia adopted policies giving preferential treatment to “Bhumiputra” — ethnic Malays, who account for 70% of the population. Meanwhile, Singapore gave equal rights to all, despite 70% of its population being Chinese.

Mahathir and Lee became symbols of the two contrasting policies.

The former, who Lee called an “ultra Malay,” adopted a tough stance on Singapore after becoming independent — a view he holds to this day. He has called for a price hike for water supplied to Singapore and has accused its neighbor of cherry picking the benefits of the two countries’ relations to build an efficient economy.

Mahathir’s criticism of Singapore peaked during the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The nation became a market for short-selling Malaysia’s currency and stocks, dealing a serious blow to the country’s economy. Mahathir lashed out at Singapore, calling the hedge funds that operated out of it “rogues.”

Malaysia’s decision to review the stock market trading link reflects Mahathir’s bitter memory of the time, analysts say.

Malaysians have mixed feelings about Singapore and its rapid ascent into the club of developed nations. Even citizens of Chinese descent are split on their views. While many laud Singapore’s lack of ethnic discrimination, others criticize it as taking the best for itself, said Masashi Nakamura, an expert on Southeast Asian affairs at the Institute of Developing Economies.

But while Mahathir should drop any lingering animosity toward Lee — who was two years his elder and died in 2015 — he must keep his finger on the pulse of the nation and the region’s changing dynamics.

Tang Siew Mung, senior fellow at the ISEA-Yusof Ishak Institute, was born in Malaysia but now resides in Singapore. Having lived in both countries, Tang feels that the two are inextricably entwined, and that their mutual reliance cannot be changed.

“Too much is said [about] Singapore’s dependence on Malaysia for its water resources and food, while there is too little acknowledgment [of] how much Malaysia benefits from good relations with its southern neighbor,” he said, pointing out that Malaysian farmers’ biggest export market is Singapore.

And as members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with each holding strategic locations in the region, any heightening of tensions between them could gravely affect the rest of Asia, especially as the bloc starts to seek its own Indo-Pacific strategy.

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Nikkei Asian Review is major business and economic paper in Japan, the country Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reveres too high, and put it as Malaysia’s technological and economic kiblat.

When he became Prime Minister for the first time 37 years ago, he rudely insulted Britain for Malaysia’s trade (particularly imports), legal and technological kiblat with the policy I’d ‘Buy British Last’ and shifted towards Japan, ‘Look East Policy’.

That affected significant shift of imports, particularly technology and automotive, from Britain to Japan.

Of course, Malaysia then had just gone through the first phase of regaining control of British controlled plantation firm with huge estates in Malaysia, but based in Britain and shares traded in the London bourse.

Dr Mahathir then quickly look to Japan for trade, technology and even banking. The Japanese was quick to capitalise on this opportunity and their FDIs started pouring in.

Japanese industrial plants grew very healthily. They capitalised on cheap labour, raw materials and incentives such as tax-free holidays and used Malaysia to mostly do assembly and contract manufacturing for their produce.

Japanese goods grew to be superior products and in short time, cornered many markets. However, goods and services from Japan are no longer cheap and instead commanded premium.

Malaysian exports to Japan realistically have a small advolarem. What is more damning, transfer of technology (T-o-T) from Japanese industries to Malaysian talents is pathetic.

Japan fully capitalised Malaysia as a staging and assembly station for their produce and nothing more.

There is a Malay euphemism, ‘Hidung tak mancung, pipi tersorong-sorong’.

What it should have been is to throw a Geisha, white powdering the face for pure puppet play purposes only.

Published in: on February 6, 2019 at 11:58  Leave a Comment  

Four wrongs don’t make it right

Two wrongs don’t make it right, what else if four wrongs.

The Edge Daily story:

The Edge chairman gifts 1MDB whistle-blower Justo US$2 million

(Jan 31): The Edge Media Group chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong has gifted whistle-blower Xavier Andre Justo RM8.2 million (US$2 million) for his help in exposing wrong-doings at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Justo, his wife Laura and four-year-old son Zander, visited The Edge Media Group’s office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, on Jan 31, where they met Tong and group publisher and CEO Ho Kay Tat.

“The gift to Justo is in appreciation of his contribution to Malaysia in helping to expose the kleptocracy of the past Government,” said Tong. “Without him, the wrongdoings involving 1MDB, as exposed by The Edge, would not have come to light.”

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The exposés that started in March 2015 led to a global investigation in the US, Switzerland and Singapore that revealed that as much as US$6.5 billion belonging to 1MDB had been stolen.

The US Department of Justice described it as the largest case of kleptocracy it had ever uncovered.

Justo paid a heavy price for providing information to The Edge as well as Sarawak Report, which showed billions were stolen from 1MDB under the guise of a joint venture with PetroSaudi International between 2009 and 2011.

Justo was arrested in June 2015 on blackmail charges, paraded in front of selected media in Bangkok as if he was a hardcore criminal, and then incarcerated in a Thai prison for 18 months.

“His family was harassed and intimidated while he was languishing in jail. No one should have to go through what he had to endure for helping to reveal the truth,” said Tong. “On behalf of all Malaysians, I would like to say thank you to him and his family.

“I would also like to add that Justo has confirmed to me that the accusation that he stole the data is untrue. My lawyers had tried to reach PetroSaudi on their past claims and they had chosen repeatedly not to respond.”

Justo expressed his appreciation for the gesture by Tong.

“I would like to say thank you to Tong. The gift from him will go a long way in helping me and my family rebuild our lives,” he said. “I take comfort (from the fact) that I have not suffered in vain. Malaysians got to learn the truth (about 1MDB) and I eventually got my freedom back.”

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The fact is that Xavier Justo stole the data (e mails) from 1MDB database server. He then manipulated them.

Then he tried to sell them, for a lot of money.

Now, Justo is being ‘rewarded’ for all those wrongs?

It is travesty of our value system, if not decency. Much could be said about integrity and professional and the reward for that.

It is interesting what MACC has to say about this. It is already interesting what MACC felt about the Federal Government doing away with the National Integrity Plan for National Anti-Corruption Plan and the creation of a brand new agency, on top MACC and IIM.

Published in: on January 31, 2019 at 21:00  Leave a Comment  

Periok memanggil kuali legam

Pemimpin politik tinggal wajar cuba berlagak suci sedangkan diri sendiri pernah bergelumang ‘mengotori’ dengan kancah permainan korporat, yang masih menjadi tanda-tanya bagaimana ianya bermula tatkala asas permulaan itu sebenarnya adalah alat proksi pengamal kroni kapitalism (capital cronysim).

Tindakan terhadap jenayah korporat

Penulisan ini konon-konon sebagai peringatan penjarah pasaran modal dan sektor permodalan.

Penulis yang hari ini menjadi politikus dengan menggunakan pengaruh kewartawanan untuk memanjangkan agenda politik, beberapa menyundalkan aspek kewartawanan dengan penulisan yang tidak adil dan termasuk penulisan yang disifatkan penghinaan institiusi Raja sehingga disiasat polis bawah laporan kerana percubaan menghasut.

Pendefinisan peribadi melalui penulisan yang tiada asas untuk membelakangi hujah dah pendapat sebenarnya mungkin akan lebih mengelirukan pembaca, sekiranya tidak agenda peracuni minda pemikiran orang ramai.

Hakikatnya, aktiviti dalam pasaran modal dan permodalan saham tiada definisi dah takrifan jelas membezakan dan memberikan sempadan mutlak antara perdagangan, permainan dan kegiatan mencari untung pasaran (market trading, rigging and profit taking).

Kemungkinan besar ianya akan atas pentafsiran pihak yang berwajib pada keadaan semasa, untuk mengariskan sempadan berasasnya peruntukan perundangan dan andaian pihak penyiasat.

Ianya akan menjurus kepada menghampakan peserta dan pengendali pasaran modal dan permodalan baru, terutama mereka yang akan melapesi industri dengan modal baru dan kedudukan kewangan dan pembiayaan kewangan akan datang.

Ini termasuk peserta Melayu dan dikalangan professional muda dan baru berjaya menjayakan perniagaan dan perusahaan mereka, terutama dalam zaman digital dan perdagangan elektronik, yang memberikan begitu luas peluang meneroka kekayaan baru.

Kekayaan dan dana baru serta akses kepada derivatif dan instrumen kewangan baru dan canggih akan mudah disalah tafsirkan sebagai amalan capital cronyism dan permainan proksi, terutama sebagai topeng dan boneka politik.

Ianya mengungkit sejarah gelap lepas pasaran modal dan eksesais korporat tatkala, Melayu Baru mula mendapat kedudukan dukungan pasaran modal yang semakin kukuh dengan peluang perusahan dan perniagaan mencanak naik terbit dari dasar politik dan peluang yang dipelupuri kerajaan memerintah.

Laporan Straits Times:

Lawsuit sheds light on UMNO Inc

Mr Khalid (above) is suing Mr Rahman for payment for a block of Realmild shares. — PHOTOS: NEW STRAITS TIMES, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS

The Straits Times, August 28, 2010

Among the disclosures: How nominees hold shares on behalf of leaders

By Leslie Lopez, Senior Regional Correspondent

KUALA LUMPUR: A court battle here over shares in a company that once controlled Malaysia’s most established media group is offering a rare glimpse into how Umno’s business empire worked.

Specifically, it is shedding unusual light on the ruling party’s use of nominees, who held stakes in companies on behalf of leading figures like the former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The dispute in question centres on a block of shares of Realmild Sdn Bhd, a private entity which, at one time, owned controlling stakes in publishing group New Straits Times (NST) Bhd and Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd, or TV3, two media entities affiliated to Umno.

Businessman Khalid Ahmad, one of four original shareholders of Realmild, is suing another businessman, Datuk Seri Rahman Maidin, for reneging on an agreement to pay roughly RM10 million (S$4.3 million) for Datuk Khalid’s 5 per cent interest in the investment holding company.

The sum involved is paltry for business disputes involving large corporations in Malaysia. The court case also does not affect control of the two media entities, which are now in the hands of the state’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

But the testimonies and court documents have shown the extent of influence senior members of Malaysia’s political elite, including Dr Mahathir, had in the running of large Malaysian conglomerates.

Some of the more startling disclosures in the Realmild case included a letter Mr Rahman wrote in early 2002 to Dr Mahathir, who was then premier and Umno president.

In the letter, Mr Rahman said he would abide by instructions from Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop, currently Malaysia’s Economic Planning Minister, to surrender his entire shareholding in Realmild because the shares were held in trust for Umno.

Separately, another nominee, Datuk Nazri Abdullah, a former editor of the NST Group and one-time Realmild shareholder, told the High Court he had held 70 per cent of Realmild in trust for Dr Mahathir.

‘I transferred all my shares. I would have kept them if they were mine,’ he told The Straits Times later.

Umno’s corporate holdings have long been a subject of keen interest among bankers and foreign investors because of the party’s dominant role in government and its control over the national economy.

The party has been in business since the late 1960s. But its corporate expansion went into overdrive only after Dr Mahathir became prime minister and Umno president in 1981.

Under him and then-finance minister Daim Zainuddin, large state contracts were awarded to corporate affiliates of the party under Malaysia’s privatisation programme.

In the case of Realmild, it shot to prominence in early 1991 when it emerged as a private vehicle used by close associates of the then-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim to take control of NST and TV3, both of which were at the time part of the Renong group, a larger, public-listed segment of the Umno business empire.

At the time, Datuk Seri Anwar was widely considered to be Dr Mahathir’s heir.

However, both men fell out bitterly in 1998. Mr Anwar was subsequently jailed on charges of corruption and sexual misconduct, while his closest associates were purged from their privileged positions in politics and business.

Among the fallen were Mr Nazri and Mr Khalid of Realmild.

Questioned in court this week, Mr Nazri acknowledged that he was a victim of the Mahathir-Anwar fallout.

He also said that he was ordered by Tun Daim, who was also Umno treasurer then, to transfer his 80 per cent holdings in Realmild to new business nominees for the party.

‘I was holding 70 per cent in trust for Dr Mahathir,’ he told the court, adding that the other 10 per cent were his own shares.

Mr Rahman was later picked as the new nominee for the Umno shares and he negotiated separately to acquire roughly 5 per cent of Mr Khalid’s shares in Realmild for RM10 million.

According to court documents, Mr Khalid received half the settlement amount and is now suing Mr Rahman for the remainder.

Mr Rahman himself later fell victim to the vagaries of Malaysian politics when Dr Mahathir and Mr Daim had a falling-out.

He is refusing to settle with Mr Khalid because he claims that he himself was not paid when he was ordered to surrender his holdings in Realmild back to Umno. He is also disputing that Mr Khalid was the rightful owner of the shares.

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Haikatnya, sehingga hari ini pasca suku abad setelah ianya berlaku eksesais korporat dimana seorang wartawan pemakan gaji (salaried journalist) yang tiada modal dan rekod sebagai usahawan boleh terlibat dan didanakan dalam skima pembiayaan berjumlah RM806 juta melalui pembiayaan dana sindikasi.

Ianya masih menjadi tandatanya dan misteri bagaimana proses meluluskan pembiayaan saham oleh sektor perbankan dan pasaran kewangan masa itu dan bagaimana kuasa politik dan eksekutif Kerajaan boleh mempengaruhi keputusan sektor perbankan, pembiayaan modal dan pasaran saham, dana dan laba.

Sekiranya diri sendiri dan gerombolan tertentu telah terjerebak dalam kancah korporat menjadi keparat capital cronyism dan menjadi bahan perbincangan yang hangat setelah sekian lama, termasuk media antarabangsa, maka tidak wajar untuk hari ini berlagak suci.

Konco-konco kroni sealiran dan sebakul musim yang sama begitu tamak menagih-agihkan sesama mereka peluang untuk menjarah sektor permodalan, dengan modal dan amalan capital cronyism yang sama dan bertopengkan untuk kepentingan dan kelangsungan politik pihak tertentu.

Apakah hari ini, ‘tangan ghaib’ dahulu menjelma semula dan sedang mengorak langkah untuk menguasai samada secara langsung atau tidak pasaran modal, permodalan, dana dan laba.

Ianya lebih menjadi misteri terutama pasaran modal, dana dan laba hilang lebih RM200billion sepanjang dua belas bulan kebelakangan ini dan dikatakan pemain asing telah melepaskan pegangan dan pengaruh mereka kepada pasaran dan industri dana dan laba tempatan.

Kelompongan ini memberikan ruang kepada kuasa kroni kapitalis, untuk menguasai dan mengaut banyak peluang dalam pasaran modal dan saham, terutama apabila harga dan nilai pasaran amat rendah dan tidak menberikan kesaksamaan pada nilai asset bersih (net tangible asset).

Hari ini, percaturan dan perlumbaan pengaruh, penguasaan dan pertentangan politik antara dua pemimpin politikus tertinggi lebih suku abad lampau kembali mengunjung dan akan menyundalkan semula senario politik Malaysia, terutama orang Melayu.

Allahualam.

Published in: on January 28, 2019 at 23:45  Leave a Comment