Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Unmitigated Disaster" for Malaysia if Najib became Prime Minister



























































































































































Longer wait for Anwar in Sodomy II

Anwar speaks to the press during a break in court proceedings. — Picture by Choo Choy May

UPDATED
By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will have to wait until tomorrow at least to find out if his Sodomy II trial will be heard in the Sessions Court here or transferred to the High Court.

This morning, Sessions Court judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah dismissed the prosecution's preliminary objection, filed at the last court hearing on Sept 24, stating that the lower court judge had no authority to hear the defence's objections to the transfer.

She also dismissed the prosecution's application for a stay for a higher court to revise her decision on the preliminary objection.

"The crux of the matter now is whether the certificate of transfer is valid or not," junior deputy public prosecutor Shamsul Sulaiman told The Malaysian Insider.

Anwar's trial has been fraught with all sorts of technical objections since Day 1 when the prosecution, led by senior DPP Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden, filed an application to transfer the case to the KL High Court, on the grounds that the case held significant public interest.

In turn, Anwar's defence team, led by Sulaiman Abdullah, challenged the prosecution's application on grounds that the certificate for transfer had been signed by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who had been told by the prime minister not to get involved in any way with the case.

After a lengthy debate today between the two parties, Komathy decided on a short recess and summoned them to her chambers.

Upon her return at 12.32pm, she announced that she would hear the defence's arguments against the validity of the certificate of transfer signed by Gani Patail after lunch.

When court resumed at 2.44pm, Sulaiman took to the floor and submitted that the certificate was invalid because it bore the signature of Gani Patail who had been publicly disqualified from getting involved in the case by no less than the prime minister himself.

He brought up Anwar's recent affidavit, filed on Sept 9 this year against Gani Patail, whom he claimed had planted false evidence in his Sodomy I trial 10 years ago, to show "there is bad blood between the A-G and DSAI" as Anwar was referred to in the above-mentioned affidavit.

"Can the court clearly say that the A-G is free from any malice against DSAI?' Sulaiman asked.

Sulaiman also referred to several news sources such as the national news agency Bernama, the New Straits Times and international wire agency Associated Press (AP) which carried the news reports quoting the prime minister's declaration.

At 4pm, Sulaiman requested that he be allowed to continue elaborating on his objection disputing the certificate of tranfer's validity tomorrow.

Judge Komathy allowed the request. The prosecution's arguments will be heard once the defence completes their submission and after the attorney-general files an affidavit explaining his responsibility to sign the certificate of transfer.

However, this does not signal the end to the long series of objections. The defence may be allowed to rebut the prosecution's objections, Shamsul pointed out.

In the courthouse lobby on the ground floor, Anwar noted that he was "bored by the attitude of the prosecution."

He was earlier observed fidgeting while seated inside the dock, constantly tapping at his BlackBerry mobile phone and turning around to chat with his wife and supporters in the gallery.

Asked to elaborate how he felt at the growing number of delays over his trial which have impacted on his takeover plan, the opposition leader smiled, shrugged and said "there is nothing much to add except to be patient."

Anwar was charged with committing unnatural sexual intercourse with his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan under Section 377B of the Penal Code on Aug 7. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years' imprisonment.








Monday, October 6, 2008
Wednesday D-Day for Pak Lah?

The Prime Minister is expected to announce by Wednesday that he is not seeking re-election as Umno president. It won't be news to most Malaysians by now but he would have to make known his stand at the Cabinet and the Barisan Nasional supreme council meetings. Pak Lah will stay on until March. He will also inform the 191 Umno divisions, which will begin their meetings on Oct 9, that he would decline nominations for the top post. His announcement will mark the beginning of a leadership transition period, which will see the baton being passed on to his deputy, Najib Tun Razak. The task for Najib will be tough. Najib has said that the BN, particularly Umno, must change or be changed. But the question is do Umno leaders realise the need to change?

More than eight months after the general election, the perception is that Umno does not see the urgency to reform itself. The impression is that Umno leaders prefer to blame others - from Pak Lah to Anwar Ibrahim to the press - except themselves. Some seemed to believe that racial posturing is the answer, not realising that they would continue to alienate the young Malays and other races. The idea is to win back the votes of all races, not lose them further. Some have lost the connect with the young, still harping on historical events, which meant little to a country where over 60% of the population are less than 24 years old. Like John McCain, who doesn't know how to use the Internet against Obama, who cannot live without his Blackberry, there are plenty in Umno, and BN, who have no inkling what is happening in cyberspace. Najib has the job of convincing his members that they must change, the party must go through reforms, the party needs rebranding (and it doesn't mean a new set of uniforms and badges) and reinvention. It's simple, nobody can sell a product that's over 50 years old with more of the same. The clients - in this case, the electorate - have changed and surely they cannot be using a product, which they cannot identify with. Unless Umno members recognise these weaknesses, the going would be tough for Najib. He has less than four years to carry out drastic changes to win back the states BN lost to Pakatan Rakyat. It has to be a battle of popularity from now. It is about appealing to the people. It can no longer be business as usual for Umno or it will be out of business.
Posted by The Writer at 11:32 AM
16 comments:
Racun Penawar said...
Yes Datuk,
One of the things that they should consider seriously is my suggestion for Barisan Nasional to have direct members and these direct members must be voters. This exercise should continue for the next three or four years till the next general election and after that a Barisan Nasional party can be formed in place of the coalition if Barisan Nasional retains the government.

Racun Penawar

October 6, 2008 2:18 PM
wandererAUS said...
UMNO fail to realize without their fingers twirling the globe, the world is still spinning.
The juicy pie is too much to fore go, so, to make changes to the party is the least of their priorities.
Abullah should come out swinging and damn his dis-tractors...after all, he is still a PM. If he has the courage, he must remove those rotten apples and stay on top. As a PM for Malaysia, he his is duty bound to see the nation not confronted with more uncertainties...UMNO do not have the birth right, to determine the future, for all Malaysians.

October 6, 2008 3:04 PM
BareSheen said...
Dear Datuk, all I see are the same tired faces. They have been around for eons. And as for those lesser known faces, what's the big deal? They came from the same mould and cut from the same cloth.

Change?

I am sorry Datuk. Let's be real. At your age now, I am sure you have eaten enough salt to know that it is supremely difficult to change a mind set.

Unless earth shattering upheaval is forced upon BN, nothing will ever change.

Zaid Ibrahim gave up. That's telling enough.

October 6, 2008 3:17 PM
Anonymous said...
I think a lot of people is hoping that Badawi will stay and defend his post. We want to see how they will kill each other and in the process drag the whole party down. We will cheer them on just like in the colisuem. Come on, we need some real entertainment!!!

October 6, 2008 4:03 PM
pemerhati bebas said...
Ini bukan masanya untuk ikut kehendak ahli dan cita rasa UMNO sendiri.Sudah sampai masanya pilihan kaum - kaum lain diambil kira ianya boleh membawa banyak manfaat kepada BN.

October 6, 2008 4:11 PM
AB said...
Jangan kita nak asyik kritik Pak Lah sahaja.Tepuk dada tanya selera.Adakah PM seorang sahaja bertanggungjawab diatas kekalahan BN ? Kita asyik kata team work? Dimana team work ? Sekiranya pealn 2010 dipersetujui oleh Najib dulu , kenapa dia nak tekan PM pula? PM tak perlu takut dgn desakan kerana dia telah pun diberi mandat dan kini tugasnya memimpin negara dan perbetulkan keadaan selepas PRU. Kita tidak mahu politik desakan dan retorik.

October 6, 2008 4:14 PM
Anonymous said...
Sungguh memalukan apabila kita tengok, sebelum Pak Lah umum ramai sudah berebut nak bertanding.Apa nak jadi dgn UMNO ?

October 6, 2008 4:16 PM
Anonymous said...
Why is Najib so impatience for the No 1 position ? Isn't he agreed earlier on with 2010 and now he wants it to be next year! It's a betrayal.

October 6, 2008 5:34 PM
amoker said...
Well, i think Abdullah should just go on and defend. 40% of the population still supports him vs 30% for Najib. Of course, the number is skewed the other way in UMNO.

October 6, 2008 5:41 PM
CWI MALAYSIA said...
On the one hand, the ruling government of BN, under Abdullah Badawi with its weakest position ever, has been going all out with every opportunity, using the state’s apparatus, to undermine the chances of the PR and its leader Anwar Ibrahim from getting into power. On the other hand, Anwar Ibrahim, with the opposition parties’ strongest parliamentary position ever, has been advocating that the PR would eventually take over the government by mid-September when some of the MPs from the BN jump over into the opposition camp. At present the BN and PR have 140 and 82 MPs respectively and Anwar and Pakatan would only need another 30 MPs to get a simple majority. Nonetheless, who the ultimate winner will be and how long this political drama will go on very much depend on the economic performance of the country and that is very much determined by circumstances in the global economy.
http://asocialistmalaysia.blogspot.com/2008/08/malaysia-growing-political-uncertainty_27.html

October 6, 2008 6:33 PM
Anonymous said...
"UMNO need to change"??? Coming from Najib, the statement is so hypocritical. Isn't he part of the problem (the need to change)?

October 6, 2008 8:23 PM
BlueMoon said...
Bro Wong, Certainly UMNO must change. For start UMNO must act tough with all troublemakers who have mushroomed lately, taking advantage on weak PM and capatilising on sick BN. In particular UMNO must take all possible measures to curb the proliferation of religious cults like Hindraf. This illegal group is no different to Al-Arqam and shoukd be treated as such. Majority of the rakyat still believe that many UMNO MPs and Ministers are person who're to be reckoned with. Deal with these troublemakers and street demonstrators for once and for all within the boundary of laws. Reforms start when UMNO is brave enough to come out and show 'em who is presently runnning the country.

October 6, 2008 9:56 PM
JT said...
Lies, conspiracy and deceit - nobody does it better than UMNO. Perhaps there is a code of conduct that escapes me. It is clear that the party president is under siege - the attack is brutal and relentless. It is easy to liken the scenario to that of a pack of hyenas picking away at the wounds of a once mighty lion. And the most pitiful part is that the besieged president still believes his "trusted" detractors that everything is for his own good and that of the party. The way I see it, the master statesman Dr M is still getting his way. Has he not insisted on the resignation of his successor? Has he not protested that the original succession plan was too prolonged? Has he not instigated Najib to renege on his agreement with his boss? Has he not instigated certain agents to force an early retirement from Pak Lah? Has he not got all that he wants? His latest remark saying that he does not trust Pak Lah to stick to his word is the classic Dr M's way of preempting Pak Lah should he have any second thoughts about not contesting in the coming party elections. Poor Pak Lah - like the wounded lion, if you can ignore its mighty roar and take away it powerful fangs and claws, it becomes no more than dead meat. Bravo to DR M, the maestro. Next to his record as the longest serving helmsman of the country, this elimination of his successor would be his greatest triumph. The conclusion is forgeone, but two questions remain - why do those Brutus' in UMNO do what they do, and why does Paklah allow them to?

October 6, 2008 10:50 PM
Anonymous said...
but i doubt these people will ever change. you see, it is so nice to be wrapped up in the racial cocoon where the world has to revolve around you and not otherwise.
the situation they cannot see - because they are in the cocoon -
is that many malaysians are fed up with the political scenario where
the wealth gap between the haves and have nots is growing wider day by day.

SHAKING HEADS

October 6, 2008 11:13 PM
Anonymous said...
UMNO cannot change. Not with so much dirt under the carpet. And the people with dirt on them will work to bring down anybody who tries to bring changes to UMNO.

October 7, 2008 12:53 AM
Anonymous said...
WCW, this is by far one of your best comments and observations of what is lacking in UMNO. For those believers, then let them hope that UMNO will wake up and change. I am a firm believer that this will not happen throught the present leaders. They are rotten to the tilt and no way they can reverse what they have done wrong. Those in power right now will be busy covering up their trails and I don't expect them to do any good for the nation.

UMNO and BN's relevance is questionable if things remain status quo.

October 7, 2008 1:19 PM



About Me
The Writer
Wong Chun Wai, 47, is the Group Chief Editor of The Star newspaper in Malaysia. Wong writes a weekly column "On The Beat" in The Sunday Star. He regards himself as a newcomer to the New Media and believes it can co-exist with the mainstream. The views expressed in Wong's blog are entirely his and do not represent that of his newspaper. More on Wong, click here.
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Welcome to wongchunwai.com
Wong Chun Wai has been a journalist for more than two decades. He is Group Chief Editor of The Star; Malaysia's leading English daily.

On The Beat is his regular column in The Sunday Star. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star. This website compiles all his writings in these two columns, plus some special features. Click on Archives for the extensive collection. His news articles are, however, not included.

Chun Wai welcomes comments on this site. Please email him at onthebeat@thestar.com.my.

Latest: Check out his blog at www.chunwai08.blogspot.com.










Judge rules for Anwar, trial to be heard in lower court
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 7, 2008

In: Uncategorized 14 Comments
The Malaysian Insider:

By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 – Sessions Court judge SM Komathy Suppiah has ruled against the prosecution’s application to transfer Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial to the High Court.

She said the lower court had the power to hear the case.

The decision represents a significant victory for Anwar’s defence team.

Anwar had objected to the application to transfer the case to the High Court because it was made by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who has been accused by Anwar of evidence tampering in an earlier case.

The former deputy prime minister is charged with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.







Anwar says those who use ISA not fit to rule
UPDATED
By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he believes that Malays or Muslims who use cruel laws against Hindus are not qualified to rule the country.

He also accused the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia newspaper of twisting facts to spark off hatred of the Malays for Hindus.

The issue at hand, he said, was the use of the Internal Security Act, which Anwar described as a cruel law.

"We as Malays, as Muslims, if we show cruelty to Malays or to Hindus, such a Malay is not qualified to rule the country,"he told reporters today.

He added: "You can take that down, Utusan Malaysia."

Anwar was on his way out of the KL court complex when he was asked to comment on the move by representatives of the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) in presenting a memorandum calling for the release of those detained under the ISA to the Prime Minister at his Hari Raya open house last week.

"The issue is not any protest by Hindraf. The issue is the cruel ISA. It is a gross injustice.

"Those detained under this cruel law must be released. I stand on that principle," said Anwar.

He called for the immediate and unconditional release of the Hindraf five and Malaysia-Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Asked what he thought of the speculation that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would not defend his Umno presidency, he said he did not believe a government or an Umno led by Datuk Seri Najib Razak would be any better.

He said he did not believe that BN would be able to garner more support or credibility under Najib.

"We are talking about a system tainted by corruption. It is important that we continue to call for reform and change," he said.

He pointed out that regardless of Abdullah's decision tomorrow, it would not impact Pakatan Rakyat's plans and that the triparte opposition leaders were having another discussion on the matter later today.

Asked for an update on the Barisan Nasional lawmakers whom he had allegedly convinced to cross over, he said: "It is a non-issue. They have given me their support and have not reneged on the agreement."







Ku Li's reforms: Direct elections for Umno president, single BN party
Tengku Razaleigh wants to turn the BN into a multiracial party if he is elected Umno president.

By Leslie Lau
Consultant Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah plans to turn the Barisan Nasional coalition into a single political party with direct membership and an elected leader if he wins the Umno presidency.

As part of a slew of radical reforms he plans to introduce to BN and Umno, the 71-year-old leader also wants future Umno presidents to be directly elected.

"I am suggesting that BN becomes a multiracial party open to all. Umno members can, for example, be direct members of BN," he told The Malaysian Insider in an interview.

"As soon as I become Umno president I will propose this."

Tengku Razaleigh said he would announce at a later date the details of how he planned to turn BN into a single political party, and explain how such a proposal would affect the interest of all component members.

All he would say now was that, under his proposal, BN members would elect their leaders directly.

Tengku Razaleigh has been the only person so far to have offered himself as a candidate for the Umno presidency. He is likely to take on Datuk Seri Najib Razak if Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi decides not to defend the post.

Asked about the kind of reforms he hopes to bring to Umno, Tengku Razaleigh said there should be direct elections at all levels of leadership, including that of the presidency.

"We have three million over members. If we give them the right to elect leaders at various levels we can get rid of money politics," he said.

"There is a need to democratise Umno. Power should be given back to members instead of being concentrated at the top."

He said that "when the masses are beholden to the leadership, we will not move forward."

As a further step to democratise Umno, Tengku Razaleigh said he would also introduce a proposal to allow members from each division to directly select candidates for the general elections.

He also wants to introduce some form of term limit in the party. "Maybe the president of Umno should be allowed to hold the post for eight or nine years at most."

Explaining the reasons behind the radical reforms he was suggesting, the Umno veteran said it was because he sees "Umno heading down."

"I do not think Umno can survive the next elections. People are simply going for material gains now for themselves and their supporters. People are becoming more corrupt.

"This is not the purpose of the party. It is for serving the people and it must be in tip-top condition to do that."







Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Remember Khairy Chronicle? Will Omar Ong Dare To Publicly Disavow Khairy?


If my posting entitled If Pak Lah is Leaving, Why is a ‘Level Four Boys’ Still in Command? on October 3rd reached the occupants of Ethos Consulting, there must be commotion there.

The boss is being considered as Principal Private Secretary for DPM's office and given time, sooner or later, may mean Principal Private Secretary for the PM. Ethos will effectively be the new Tingkat Empat boys and girls. The gang remain to rule.

You can bet last month's paycheck that the whole office is scrambling to deny, justify and spin message of my post. Don't be surprise if Omar Ong and his Ethos staff are the commentators in these blogs; here, here, maybe here and other UMNO bloggers in this aggregator here.

In the meanwhile, with the Raya open houses, they would probably be busy miggling and interjecting conversations to explain to friends and sedara that Abdullah did not heed or son and son-in-law changed one's proposal, advise and recomendation. And, they are not part or linked to Tingkat 4. Fine, but how do they expect people to believe such claims?

It takes more than that. The image and impression was built over so many years. And here is one tricky bit. The Khairy Chronicle, believed by many meant to make Khairy bigger than life, is filled with intricate details of the links between Omar Ong and Khairy.

Remember Khairy Chronicle? The book, which the claimed author is in trial in a PJ court for sedition charges and the real author is believed dead, based on a column in Malaysia Today. The column hit MT in mid 2005 and was made into a book. It have been in circulation for quite a few years.

Throughout the period, Omar Ong never denied his involvement in Khairy's schemes. Much of the details tally with events and talk along the Corridors of Power.

The ship of Abdullah, Kamaluddin and Khairy hit an iceberg and is waiting time to sink. How about publicly disavowing Khairy and reveal some sexy details now, Omar Ong? You will do a great favour to the nation to help Mukhriz, deny Khairy the coveted Youth Chief post and send him packing to Perth.

Snippets of Omar Ong's alleged exploits with Khairy in the Khairy Chronicle to follow. The whole book is DOWNLOADABLE from Savefile here.



--------------------------



THE KHAIRY CHRONICLES

Part 2: Out of the wormhole

... As a student at Oxford, expressing his doubts about Mahathir to fellow Malaysians overseas, he came to the attention of a certain Omar Ong.

Omar Ong, as can be seen from his rather peculiar name, is an ethnic Chinese. He is the son of Mustapha Ong, former Private Secretary to longtime Minister of Information Mohamad Rahmat and for some time in the diplomatic service in New York and Brazil. Currently living in New Zealand, Mustapha Ong became infamous during the Anwar Ibrahim trials when it was revealed he had tried to bribe a New York ethnic-Arab taxi driver called Jamal Amro to “confess” that he had procured boys and women for Anwar. Jamal Amro refused and instead made police reports accusing Mustapha Ong of trying to bribe him. Of course Mustapha Ong was shielded by Mahathir, even though his over-enthusiasm in trying to “fix” Anwar caused some embarrassment to the government, especially amongst the diplomatic community overseas.

Anyway, Omar Ong was a bit of a social climber and very ambitious. He tried to hitch his star to rising politicians as a means of fast-tracking his own ascent to power. He knocked on the door of Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim through the good graces of some of his political secretaries.

This was partially successful, as Anwar was persuaded to receive Omar Ong and his group in a private audience. Several more meetings followed and Omar Ong was hopeful that Anwar would be his ticket to heaven. In spite of that, there was still some opposition from Anwaristas such as Suhaimi Ibrahim, Fuad Hassan and Zahid Hamidi, who really wanted to keep Anwar all to themselves.

But a chance meeting with Daim Zainuddin made Omar Ong soon realise that something was brewing in the very highest circles and Anwar was going to be hit by a runaway bus, so to speak. Quickly, while thanking his lucky stars, Omar Ong dropped “the Anwar project” like a hot potato and tried to go for Najib Tun Razak instead. This was around three months before Anwar was sacked by Mahathir.

Najib, however, was a hard nut to crack. Omar Ong realised that Najib was surrounded by long time loyalists from his earlier days in government who screen newcomers to his circle with a parent’s protective eye. So it was decided that the next best thing would be Hishamuddin Hussein.

Hishamuddin Hussein was then just a junior UMNO politician. But he had a very big name behind him. There was no doubt that, after Hussein Onn died, Dr Mahathir felt that he owed a debt of gratitude to the former third Prime Minister and his family. Dr Mahathir began to put Hishamuddin on the fast track of politics, even over and above Hishamuddin’s superiors in the UMNO Youth movement such as Nazri Aziz and Zahid Hamidi. Hishamuddin got promoted several times within a year.

These fast promotions took its toll on Hisham. He was never a bright student or a sharp intellectual. Neither was he a good speaker nor a great orator. He had an unfriendly face and almost permanent crooked smile which reminded a fellow Minister of “the dead pope – after he had died”. Omar Ong set about helping Hishamuddin and his fellow student from Oxford, Khairy, came along as well. Soon, Hishamuddin began to rely more on Khairy than on Omar Ong.

To pay his debt, Hishamuddin introduced Omar Ong and his group to people close to Dr Mahathir such as his Political Secretary, Datuk Johari Baharom, and ISIS Director-General, Dr Noordin Sopiee.

A coincidence at the time was that Abdullah Badawi’s daughter had joined ISIS as a research assistant. And it was Noordin who introduced the two. Abdullah Badawi was then a Vice-President of UMNO and next inline should, for example, Anwar Ibrahim’s helicopter fall suddenly from the air.

Anwar’s helicopter did fall (though he was not on it at that time) but Anwar himself was booted out in September 1998. Like most other Malaysians, Khairy did not believe some of the more bizarre accusations hurled against Anwar by Mahathir. But it was the best of times, and the worst of times. There was opportunity and both Khairy and Omar took it.

A myth developed after Anwar’s fall from grace that Khairy had always been sympathetic to Anwar’s “Reformasi” struggle. Rumours grew that a student who had publicly asked Mahathir to resign in a gathering in London was really Khairy. Another story was that Khairy was the then boyfriend of Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, but they broke up when Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah, refused to make Khairy her political secretary but instead appointed another young man by the name of Nik Affendi Jaafar (now Senior Public Relations Manager of the EPF)...

---------------------------

THE KHAIRY CHRONICLES

Part 5: The heir and the pretender

... At that point, when Najib was most apprehensive about his political future, Khairy took advantage of Najib’s weakness by putting several of his people in Najib’s office. Khairy knew that many of Najib’s officers were 110% loyal to Najib and served him selflessly. Amongst them was Najib’s key point-man and trusted advisor, Datuk Alies Anor. But Khairy was very wary of Alies Anor. Alies was close to ABIM (his wife is a famous ABIM activist) and therefore close to Anwar Ibrahim. Indeed, many of Najib’s junior officers were drawn from the pro-Anwar camp as Najib had served Anwar as his Vice Youth Chief in the 1990s. As Anwar’s star rose, Najib wanted to please him so he sheltered several Anwar supporters in his office.

Other than Alies Anor, Najib had other advisors who were more cosmopolitan and therefore opposed to Alies’ worldview. Chief amongst them was Abdul Razak Baginda and a shadowy business figure called Rohana who controls Najib’s and his family’s estates overseas -- such as their flats in London and houses in Australia’s Melbourne and Gold Coast. Khairy approached these two figures and convinced them that the best person to advice Najib was a certain Omar Ong (see part 2 of the Khairy Chronicles).

Omar Ong became Khairy’s point-man in Najib’s office. He installed himself in an office a few doors away from Najib’s own and was given a chauffeur-driven car as well as ranking in the civil service just one step below the Deputy Secretary-General of the ministry.

But even that was insufficient. Khairy was worried that Najib might stray from the narrow road set before him by Omar Ong. After all, Omar Ong was hardly the most charismatic of individuals and as a Chinese convert to Islam he could be deemed an ‘outsider’ by Najib supporters.

Khairy then used another close friend called Dr Liew, his partner in his proxy company, Ethos Sdn Bhd, set up to dabble in government contracts. Khairy introduced Ethos to Najib and quickly hired personnel on large monthly retainers to advice Najib on several key Ministry of Defence jobs. Through their joint participation, Najib’s advisors and civil servants found their roles reduced and instead Liew and his officers began to take charge of sensitive decisions made in the Ministry of Defence. Closed tender contracts began to be awarded to companies associated to Omar Ong and Dr Liew.

Najib’s old advisors, in particular Alies Anor, found this situation extremely stifling. They realised they no longer had the undivided attention of Najib. Instead, Najib began to listen more to Khairy’s people who would also furnish Khairy reports on Najib’s daily movements. Further to that, they used their position to block several key Najib allies from seeing the Minister -- to such an extent that these people began to angrily distant themselves from Najib.

They disrupted daily briefings made by Alies Anor and the old officers, causing severe rifts in Najib’s office. But Najib himself felt that this was a price worth paying. He knew Alies was absolute loyal to him, even if he was removed from office. Najib wanted the post of Deputy Prime Minister and he was willing to pay any price, even kowtowing to Khairy’s boys if necessary.

Eventually, Abdullah could not hold back the decision any longer and Najib found himself Deputy Prime Minister as Dr Mahathir had planned. Khairy tried to take full credit with Najib, even arranging huge media coverage through Kalimullah Hassan Masheerul Hassan (Group Chief Editor of NST and a Khairy stooge). However, once safely in office, Najib began to wise up. He no longer felt he needed to pay as much attention to Khairy or his boys as he did before. In short, Najib began to fight back and loosen the chains that Khairy and Omar Ong had placed around him.

Najib began to develop parallel young talents in his office, in direct competition to Khairy’s boys. He chose Khairil Annas Yusof, an IIUM and Oxford law graduate with an ABIM background (and therefore diametrically opposed to Khairy’s worldview) as an additional Special Officer. Najib also began to reduce Omar Ong’s role in writing his speeches and relied more and more on Khairil Annas. Khairil Annas also began to train Najib and help him improve his Malay speaking talents, including the use of rhetoric and gestures, something out of sync with Najib’s previous character.

Although Omar Ong is the son-in-law of Fatwa Council chairman Ismail Ibrahim, his talents in the religious department were severely lacking. Khairil Annas made up for these deficiencies and quickly became Najib’s most trusted blue-eyed boy. Khairy’s boys in Ethos also began to find that, since he became Deputy Prime Minister, Najib was listening less and less to them. Dr Liew, who was previously tasked with finding a solution to the Felda problem, found himself muscled out by a new appointee in charge of Felda affairs, a certain Ahmad Maslan, a Johor UMNO stalwart of Anwar Ibrahim and former political secretary to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Mustapa Mohamad.

Khairy instructed Dr Liew to propose that Felda dispose of its shares in several First Board publicly-listed companies, such as Maybank, to parties close to ECM Libra, a boutique investment bank owned by Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan that employed Khairy as its director of Corporate Advisory. Dr Liew thought he could easily push this matter through as it was more or less an ‘instruction’ from Khairy. Instead, Najib used Ahmad Maslan to block the deal while ordering a reassessment of the proposal based on its merits ...

---------------------------

THE KHAIRY CHRONICLES

Part 16: The walls that talk

... But not all the leaks come from Anwar’s side. There are also people close to Khairy who have been doing the same. These are mostly his closest confidantes in the Ethos Consulting circle who move within the more Western-educated liberal young professional network. To them, Anwar’s sacking and humiliation by Dr Mahathir Mohamad was a travesty of justice and, in spite of their lack of open opposition to that cruel episode, they continue to pronounce that it was a black period in Malaysian politics. Khairy’s friends defend his record by openly espousing that, in his personal capacity, Khairy is sympathetic to Anwar’s plight. In fact, time and time again, these groups are reminded of Khairy’s magnanimous visit to Anwar’s house the night of the latter’s release from incarceration.

Khairy’s circle of friends comprise some young lawyers, bankers and political aspirants who believe that Anwar’s rehabilitation is a giant step in the effort to rid UMNO of the dregs of the Mahathir years. They tell themselves that Anwar would bring back UMNO’s lost popularity amongst the Malay heartland and revive Abdullah’s credentials as a liberal reformer. Therefore, in their discussions, they often leak Khairy’s efforts to reinstate Anwar within UMNO in order to portray Khairy as the voice of the future. In other words, to the more liberal groups who comprise the backbone of Khairy’s support, the discussions with Anwar is no bad thing. On the other hand, it is the undisputed proof that Khairy is serious about reforms and is not a politician shaped by UMNO’s older mould.

Leaks from Khairy’s circle usually comprise of two groups. The first group, those who are in immediate contact with Khairy such as Omar Ong, Ahmad Zaki Zahid, Norza Zakaria, Lim Kian Teck, Rozabil Abdul Rahman and others of that calibre, do not usually discuss these issues in public. However, some are forced to do so. For example, Omar Ong is nominally responsible to Najib Tun Razak as his Special Officer. He is often provoked by Najib’s other officers into giving them bits of information about Khairy’s movements and political planning. In other words, information is often squeezed out of Omar Ong as if he was a tube of toothpaste. Of course, in the end, the news gets back to Najib and in separate meetings with his more trusted advisors this information is sifted, analysed and examined more thoroughly.

The second group of Khairy leaks comprises those who were brought in by the first group as their support technocrats. These include the younger members of Ethos Consulting, YPCS and other such groups associated with Khairy. While they are known to Khairy, they are definitely not his bosom buddies. Nevertheless, whatever information they heard about Khairy’s movements is quickly disseminated for the simple fact that each and every one of these young and eager aspirants want to be seen by others as Khairy’s trusted lieutenants. Often, their unguarded and exaggerated claims are passed on to other friends who in turn make their own conclusions to the detriment of Khairy ...



at 10/07/2008 10:00:00 AM
2 comments:
Akar umbi UMNO Damansara Utama said...
Salam,

Kadang-kadang UMNO harus bijak memikirkan tentang imej dan persepsi yang disampaikan kepada rakyat.

Walaupun (dan ini belum dipastikan) saudara-saudara seperti Omar Ong berkebolehan dan cekap, takkan tidak ada orang lain yang tidak mempunyai kaitan silam dengan kisah-kisah negatif yang membelenggu pemerintahan Pak Lah?

Rasanya kena tengok Muhyiddin naik baru ada muka2 baru.

www.suaradu.com

11:20 AM
hpt said...
Why would helping Mukhriz to the Youth Chief Post even be in the same league as "doing the nation a favour"????

Either is as bad as the other.

Khairy is bad news, we all know this, but what exactly is good about Mukhriz? That he supports his daddy's racist rants and unhinged Anwar bashing ("zionist agent" indeed) or his unabashedly hedonistic brother Mokhzani with his stable of exotic Porsche cars?

12:10 PM
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News Asia-Pacific

Anwar cries foul over case transfer


Anwar has said he will lead a move to oust Malaysia's current leadership [AFP]

Anwar Ibrahim, leader of Malaysia's opposition alliance, has hit out at government efforts to have his trial on charges of sodomy moved to the country's high court, saying it threatens his right to a fair trial.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday the de facto leader of the Pakatan Rakyat (People's Alliance), said the push to transfer his case from a lower court would likely see him facing a biased judge and was part of a political plot.

Anwar is accused of sodomising a former male aide, and could be jailed up to 20 years if convicted.

But before the trial could begin in a lower court Abdul Gani Patail, the Attorney-General (AG) or country's top prosecutor, ordered the case to be transferred to the high court.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, protested the order when he appeared in a district court on Tuesday.

He has repeatedly rejected the allegations, which he says are part of a plot by his political opponents.

"I am concerned over the issue of fair trial," he said at the hearing to decide if the case should be transferred.

"I find it difficult to understand why the AG is so desperate, fighting tooth and nail, to go to the High Court."

He said the order has "raised a lot of suspicion" that the government would pick a biased judge in the high court.

'Disqualified'

Yusof Zainal Abiden, the prosecutor in Anwar's trial, urged the district court to "follow the procedure" and transfer the case.

But defence lawyers have maintained that Abdul Gani should stay out of Anwar's case because of his alleged involvement in a previous sodomy charge against Anwar in 1998, when he was sacked from the government and subsequently jailed.

"The AG should play no part, and he should not be deciding this," Sulaiman Abdullah, Anwar's lawyer, told the district court, adding that the order was void because it was "signed by somebody who has been disqualified".

Anwar's sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004, but a conviction on a separate corruption charge remains.

Malaysian law criminalises sodomy, even if the act is between consenting adults.

Anwar's trial comes amid escalating racial and political tensions in Malaysia, with the government's popularity rating at an all-time low following the loss of its two-third majority in parliament in the March general elections.

The opposition alliance has repeatedly said it plans to remove the present leadership by orchestrating the defection of more than 30 government MPs.













Anwar tidak tunggu Pak Lah

KUALA LUMPUR - Rancangan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim mengambil alih kerajaan tetap akan diteruskan tidak mengira keputusan sama ada Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi melepaskan jawatan Presiden UMNO ataupun tidak.

Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) itu berkata, beliau hanya menunggu keputusan yang akan dikeluarkan esok (hari ini).

“Rancangan mengambil alih kerajaan ini bukanlah bersifat peribadi terhadap Abdullah ataupun Najib.

“Najib mampu mendapat sokongan yang lebih dalam menguruskan ekonomi serta membersihkan negara ini daripada amalan rasuah dan salah urus ekonomi," jawabnya ketika ditanya mengenai peluangnya untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri berikutan pengumuman Abdullah hari ini sama ada bertanding atau tidak jawatan Presiden sekaligus memberi laluan kepada timbalannya mengambil alih jawatan sebagai Presiden pada Mac depan.

Tambah Anwar, adalah penting pihaknya meneruskan gerakan reformasi dan melakukan perubahan kerana rakyat sudah tidak mempercayai pemerintahan di bawah Perdana Menteri yang ada hari ini.

“Pemimpin mestilah berwibawa dan kita bercerita tentang sistem yang dicemari amalan rasuah dan menyokong perbuatan jenayah," ujarnya kepada pemberita di lobi Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta, di sini, semalam.

Ketika disoal mengenai tindakan Hindraf yang keterlaluan kebelakangan ini, Anwar menjawab, isu berkenaan dilaporkan oleh sebuah akhbar bertujuan membangkitkan kemarahan orang Melayu terhadap kaum India.

Beliau yang juga Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh, turut menyentuh isu Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) yang disifatkan sebagai zalim dan perlu diubah.

“Orang ditahan di bawah akta yang zalim kena dibebaskan. Jangan nak tukar (topik), makan anjing ke, makan beruk ke. Itu bukan soalnya.

“Orang zalim kena dibetulkan kesalahan mereka. Kalau orang Melayu beragama Islam tunjuk zalim kepada yang bukan Islam, mereka tidak layak memimpin negara ini," katanya.









08
Oct
08Laporan Sinar Harian Amat Dikesali
post info
By Anwar Ibrahim
Categories: Anwar and Media Sinar Harian telah secara salah melaporkan kenyataan saya yang dibuat pada 7hb Oktober di perkarangan Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta. Laporan Sinar Harian tersebut menyatakan bahawa saya percaya Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mampu mendapat sokongan yang lebih dalam menguruskan ekonomi dan membersihkan negara ini daripada amalan rasuah.

Ini adalah tidak benar. Laporan tersebut jelas memutar belitkan kenyataan saya yang dibuat pada 7hb Oktober berkenaan proses peralihan kuasa dalam Umno.

Sebaliknya saya yakin sekiranya Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menjadi Perdana Menteri, negara ini akan terjerumus ke dalam bencana yang besar.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak secara jelas menyatakan beliau sebagai Menteri Kewangan akan meneruskan agenda ekonomi pentadbiran Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Kenyataan beliau bahawa Malaysia tidak akan terkesan dengan perkembangan krisis ekonomi dunia sangat membimbangkan dan mempamerkan kegagalan beliau untuk menangani cabaran yang akan dihadapi oleh negara kita pada masa hadapan.

Beliau juga tidak menunjukkan komitmen untuk memastikan Agenda Perubahan berlaku demi memulihkan keyakinan rakyat terhadap Badan Kehakiman dan bertindak memerangi rasuah. Sedangkan pada Pilihanraya Umum 8 Mac 2008 dan Pilihanraya Kecil Permatang Pauh tempoh hari, rakyat menyuarakan hasrat mereka agar Agenda Perubahan menjadi keutamaan dan direalisasikan dengan segera.

Rakyat Malaysia bimbang di bawah kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, undang-undang kuku besi seperti penggunaan ISA akan diteruskan dan sendi-sendi demokratik akan dilumpuhkan.

Selain itu beberapa persoalan yang belum terjawab seperti tuduhan penglibatan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak di dalam komisen yang diperolehi hasil pembelian peralatan tentera dari Perancis dan Russia serta pembunuhan wanita Mongolia; Altantuya Shaariibuu, menggugat serta melemahkan kedudukannya di dalam kerajaan.

Pemimpin sebegini akan mencemarkan reputasi Malaysia di kacamata masyarakat antarabangsa dan sekaligus akan memberikan kesan negatif dalam membentuk tanggapan pelabur-pelabur asing terhadap Malaysia.

Saya mohon agar Sinar Harian segera menyiarkan pembetulan dan lebih bertanggungjawab untuk melaporkan sebarang berita dengan benar dan tepat pada masa hadapan.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
Ketua Pembangkang
Ketua Umum KeADILan

—PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA 8 OCTOBER 2008

Sinar Harian has incorrectly reported in today’s edition (“Anwar akui Najib dapat lebih sokongan” ) that I believe Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be a more effective leader than Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sinar’s reporting clearly misrepresents comments that I made on October 7 on the issue of the UMNO power transition.

On the contrary I believe it would be an unmitigated disaster for the nation if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were to become the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has clearly indicated that as Finance Minister he plans to continue the failed economic policies of the Badawi Administration. His assertion that Malaysia will not be adversely affected by the global economic crisis is deeply troubling and reflects a failure to comprehend the challenges our nation will face in the coming months and years.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given no indication of his commitment to judicial reform and anti-corruption. These are issues that the Malaysian people expressed deep concerns over in the March 8th election and the Permatang Pauh by-election.

Malaysians fear that under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak democratic freedoms will be curtailed and the use of draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act would be extended.

Lastly, the unanswered questions about Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s alleged knowledge of commissions paid in the acquisition of military equipment from France and Russia and the murder of the Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu looms like a dark cloud over his position within the government.

To have such a compromised figure at our nation’s helm would certainly cripple our reputation in the international community and would have a chilling effect on the impression that foreign investors have of Malaysia.

I ask Sinar Harian to immediately publish a correction and would expect more responsible and more accurate reporting from them in the future.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
Opposition Leader
KeADILan de-facto Leader






STATEMENT DSAI HAS BEING MANIPULATE BY “SINAR HARIAN”
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 OKTOBER 2008

Sinar Harian has incorrectly reported in today’s edition (“Anwar akui Najib dapat lebih sokongan” ) that I believe Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be a more effective leader than Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sinar’s reporting clearly misrepresents comments that I made on October 7 on the issue of the UMNO power transition.

On the contrary I believe it would be an unmitigated disaster for the nation if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were to become the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has clearly indicated that as Finance Minister he plans to continue the failed economic policies of the Badawi Administration. His assertion that Malaysia will not be adversely affected by the global economic crisis is deeply troubling and reflects a failure to comprehend the challenges our nation will face in the coming months and years.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given no indication of his commitment to judicial reform and anti-corruption. These are issues that the Malaysian people expressed deep concerns over in the March 8th election and the Permatang Pauh by-election.

Malaysians fear that under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak democratic freedoms will be curtailed and the use of draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act would be extended.

Lastly, the unanswered questions about Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s alleged knowledge of commissions paid in the acquisition of military equipment from France and Russia and the murder of the Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu looms like a dark cloud over his position within the government.

To have such a compromised figure at our nation’s helm would certainly cripple our reputation in the international community and would have a chilling effect on the impression that foreign investors have of Malaysia.

I ask Sinar Harian to immediately publish a correction and would expect more responsible and more accurate reporting from them in the future.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
OPPOSITION LEADER
DE FACTO LEADER, PKR






Press Release from YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 06:53pm
• PM will not defend Umno post

1. I have been in public service for over 45 years. I have served this country as a civil servant, and as an elected representative of the people. I have served as a member of government and feel blessed to serve in the highest office in the land. I have seen this country grow from a small, poor nation into the modern, prosperous Malaysia that we live in today.

2. Despite our successful track record, for the past few years I have firmly believed that our nation is standing at an historic crossroads. We must reform some elements of our nation, we must evolve and mature, or we risk losing all that we have gained in over 50 years. Throughout this time of reform and transformation, we Malaysians need to be united now more than ever before.

3. In all my years of service, I have always been guided by my conscience. I have always placed the interests of the nation above all else. It is with this in mind that I announce I will not stand for the Presidency of UMNO. I do not want a divided party and governing coalition, but one that is united and harmonious. A united Barisan Nasional is vital in order for the country to face the global challenges ahead and for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation, with prosperity and fairness for all.

4. My current term as President of UMNO ends in March next year. There are several initiatives I intend to see through before I leave office. These initiatives are important because they are necessary to move our country forward. These initiatives are needed to regain our country's competitiveness. They are necessary to enable our nation and our society to face the challenges that the world has in store for us. I ask all Malaysians to unite and join me in working towards making Malaysia a better place.

5. First, our institutions need to be reformed and strengthened.

i) The judiciary needs to enhance its stature and credibility in the eyes of the public. Before I end my term, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish a Judicial Appointments Commission. Such a Commission will propose judicial appointments in a transparent and merit-based manner.

ii) We also need a strong and effective anti-corruption body that can combat the cancer of corruption without fear or favour. Before the end of the year, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with greater powers of investigation and enforcement. The Commission's oversight structure has been modelled after the successful ICAC in Hong Kong.

iii) I also intend to complete the establishment of a Special Complaints Commission to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of enforcement agencies.

6. Second, I have long spoken about the need to ensure that the fruits of growth are more equitably distributed. In the recent Budget, I explained the government's commitment to strengthening and enlarging the Social Safety Net.

We will speed up work on this front to help poor and disadvantaged Malaysians, regardless of background, race or religion.

I will also work to ensure that tangible results can begin to be enjoyed in Iskandar, as well as the development corridor initiatives around the country.

7. Third, I would like to see the Government and Barisan renew their commitment towards building a united and harmonious nation.

Society has seen an alarming decline in inter-racial and inter-religious relations. Various issues have cropped up which threaten to tear the very fabric of Malaysian life.

We need to tackle these issues head-on, through dialogue; deal with the issues constructively and even-handedly; ensure greater clarity and certainty for the people; and focus on the points that unite us, rather than the points that divide us.

For this reason, I will convene a BN Convention early next year. This is a long-term effort that I hope to kick-start and continue to contribute towards.

I fully intend to see through my mission, and I am sure that my successor will carry on this agenda.

I want to hand over to my successor a Malaysia that is capable of weathering the challenges of a dangerous global economy, a Malaysia not of rich and poor, of young and old or of the city or the kampung (village), not of south and north, and not of one religion or another but of unity and harmony.

This is not the time for infighting and narrow politics but for greatness, unity and cooperation.






Despite surging support, Abdullah will not defend Umno presidency
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 08:25am
©The Malaysian Insider (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 - A frenzy of meetings in his office yesterday, a chain SMS and support from an unlikely source have convinced many people that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will change his mind and signal his intention to defend his party president's position.

Such is the speculation that even Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's camp sent out feelers to find out if Abdullah had a change of heart about stepping down as party president and prime minister in March, as prescribed by a transition plan.

A few corporate captains, who have been moving closer to Najib since the transition plan was endorsed a fortnight ago, also sought to hedge their bets by touching base with those in Abdullah's circle.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that Abdullah is still going to announce that he will not defend his position after briefing the Cabinet and Barisan Nasional Supreme Council.

He feels that the support that he has received in the last few days and reports from the ground confirm what he has suspected - that the "groundswell'' against him was manufactured by senior party leaders.

But he has told aides and party officials that a battle for the top position will leave Umno badly scarred and in a weak position to fight off the Opposition challenge.

Yesterday, there was intense pressure on him to contest the top post in Umno.

An uninterrupted stream of visitors - including Umno division chiefs, party operatives and his staunch supporters - met him at his office in Putrajaya to persuade him to stay on, arguing that he would be able to get the 58 nominations to defend the president's position and have a good chance of defeating Najib or any other challenger.

Some of them were motivated by self-interest, fearing that his retirement would mean the loss of a benefactor and protector in the Umno election season. Others were troubled by the manner the transition plan was cobbled together by Najib and others on the supreme council and the willingness by some party officials to blame Abdullah for everything that has gone wrong with Umno and Barisan Nasional.

A text message has been going around urging his supporters to gather outside his official residence at 8am to provide him with moral support as he heads off for his weekly meeting with his ministers. It noted that Abdullah’s hesitance to commit to any decision despite being pressed by reporters on Monday and Tuesday was a sign that he was staying on.

Adding more fuel to speculation was a statement by the Kuala Kedah division Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain that his division intended to nominate Abdullah and Najib for the top two positions in the party.

He added that if Abdullah decided not to contest, he would leave it to the delegates to decide who to nominate. This was a factual and purely innocent statement which was interpreted by political pundits as an indication that Abdullah had informed divisions that he would accept nominations.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that Abdullah made up his mind not to contest last Friday after seeking the counsel of his closest aides, friends and supporters. He did not give reasons why he accepted the March transition plan but seemed determined not to be remembered as the man who destroyed the party for his own interest.

That view is likely to hold sway over any other emotions and arguments today.








Pak Lah to go come March
By Shannon Teoh


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi will not defend the Umno presidency.

He told leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties here today that he will quit as party president by March next year.

This will pave the way for Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is favoured to win the party presidency, to take over as Prime Minister if BN remains in power then.

"I will not stand for the presidency of Umno in the coming elections. My current term as Umno president ends in March next year," he told reporters after the meeting.

Bringing the curtains down on over 45 years of civil service and governance, he said that his decision was to make sure there would be no split in either Umno or BN.

"I have always been guided by my conscience. I do not want a divided party and governing coalition but one that is united. This is not the time for infighting," he explained.

He reiterated that between now and March, he would continue to push his reform platform.

Abdullah promised to table in Parliament legislation for the formation of a Judicial Appointment Commission and an anti-corruption body modelled after Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).The prime minister said he hoped to hand over the reins to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"I say hope because he is standing for election as president of Umno first. I believe he can win," he said, adding that the hand-over of the premiership would be discussed after Najib was elected as his successor by Umno.

According to Abdullah, the supreme council had accepted Najib as the designated successor.

When asked what he would do if nominated by Umno divisions for the party polls, he replied, "I have made my decision and I have said so. What can I do if they nominate me when I have informed them of my decision at such an early stage?"

He however, admitted that he had not done well enough in the March 8 general elections, where BN lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament and ceded five state governments to the opposition.

"So it's time somebody else takes over. We need a new generation of leaders and there's nothing wrong with that."

"I do not regret what I've done. How the people act and respond to that is up to them to decide," he replied when asked if he was sorry that he had opened up and liberalised the country.

"I feel alright. BN still leads, it is the party that has formed the government and will remain strong until next General Election."








Contradictions Plague Malaysia's Government
Tag it:Written by Kim Quek
Thursday, 09 October 2008

Minority ethnic parties in the ruling national coalition get restive



As the United Malays National Organisation's political power has continued to wane since Malaysia's March general election, Barisan Nasional component parties like the Malaysian Chinese Association, the Malaysia Indian Conference and Gerakan are caught in a secret dilemma - whether they should feel happy about this development.

Happy, because a weakened Umno would give these ethnic parties, which have long been subservient to Umno, the first opportunity in decades to make an attempt to regain their status as genuine partners in the ruling national coalition, thus giving them the hope of recouping some of the lost support in their respective communities. Or not happy, because a lame-duck Umno may result in the loss of power by the Barisan altogether to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, resulting in the loss of governing status by these component parties.

Expressed crudely, a strong Umno is bad because it would make the party more arrogant, further alienating its scant remaining minority support. However, a weak Umno is also bad, because it will not provide the necessary pillar for its satellite ethnic parties to hang onto.

Therein lies a fundamental contradiction in the relationship between Umno and its parasitic partners. This contradiction, among others, could doom the Barisan to eventual disintegration due to the structural changes that have taken place in the political landscape. These changes are:

• Minority races no longer accept harsh racial discrimination and are becoming convinced that their respective ethnic parties have failed to protect their constitutional rights, having been hopelessly subjugated to Umno's hegemony.

• People of all races have come to realize that the coalition government has grossly mismanaged the country through corruption and inefficiency, and that UMNO has widely abused the affirmative New Economic Policy for corrupt self-enrichment of party leaders and their cronies.

• The majority of people of all races detest racial politics and yearn for restoration of democracy and the rule of law, which have been steadily whittled away in the past few decades.

• The people have accepted Pakatan Rakyat as a viable alternative to incumbent Barisan, as evidenced by the 50 percent of votes cast in Pakatan Rakyat's favor in the March election.


Paradigm Shift

After being subjected to the Barisan's absolute dominance for five decades, the paradigm shift represented by the above changes is spectacular, considering that the country is still under repressive rule. This political awakening would of course not have been possible if not for the rapid advent of the ICT revolution and relentless campaigning by Pakatan Rakyat. The beauty of this political process is that once the populace has become so enlightened, it appears to be irreversible. As time goes on, this enlightenment can only increase, as shown in the recent Permatang Pauh by-election that brought Anwar Ibrahim back to electoral politics and increased his party's number of seats against a strong effort by the Barisan.

The results of the by-election, as well as subsequent opinion poll, have shown that while Patakan Rakyat's support from all three main races has increased, that from the Chinese and Indian electorate has grown even more spectacularly. This is an important signal to the minority racial parties in the Barisan that their days are numbered, unless Umno can make drastic changes to its policy of racial hegemony and corrupt governance. But there is not the slightest evidence that Umno is moving in this direction, despite harsh admonition and even warning of defection by its racial partners.

In this respect, the present crop of MCA and Gerakan leaders, who have been belting out chivalrous rhetoric with the promise to tame the unbridled Umno in the run-up to their respective party elections, can only be described as indulging in mass deception - deceiving others while in a state of self-deception.

Indeed the contradiction in the Barisan is not confined to that arising from Umno's big bully role, as a coalition of racial parties such as the Barisan is inherently a flawed political structure. Such a structure is only politically acceptable as a temporary measure during the early stage of a newly independent nation which is made up of disparate races, when the notion of united nationhood has not taken root in the consciousness of the people.

That is why the former Alliance Party - consisting of Umno, MCA & MIC - which gained independence half a century ago for the then Malaya, was considered an appropriate political entity to lead the country into nationhood. However, as the country matured, such coalition of racial parties should long ago have evolved into multi-racial parties to pave the way for true national integration.

Racial Coalition Unacceptable

A coalition of ethnic parties cannot be accepted as a permanent solution because it is confrontational in nature among its partners. As each racial party champions the interests of its racial group, conflicts are bound to arise all the time which necessitate constant negotiation and compromise. And it is inevitable that every ethnic party within the coalition would look at another party as an adversary in addition as a partner. The potential for friction increases in direct proportion to the degree of disparities among the races, whether in the social or economic field.

So long as such a governing political structure continues to exist, friction and conflicts among the races will remain an omnipresent feature of government, thus posing an unacceptable stumbling block to racial integration and nation-building. Such a stumbling block becomes even more insurmountable if one ethnic party assumes hegemony and imposes discrimination against other racial groups.

Indeed, in the case of Malaysia, this stumbling block has become monstrous, as the dominant partner is not only dictatorial but has also become thoroughly corrupted, perpetuating its rule through abusing the country's institutions under the shield of repressive legislation. The devastation on nation-building is horrendous - worsening racial polarization, a deteriorating rule of law and an intractable economic morass, which has caused widespread hardships although the country in recent years has enjoyed unprecedented booming prices for primary commodities which are largely exported.

It is precisely due to public despair and disillusionment of such flawed political leadership of the Barisan that Pakatan Rakyat's politics of good governance and multi-racialism is welcome to bring new hope to the nation.

Heretical Ideologies

In fact, following the recent political tsunamis swept in by Pakatan Rakyat, the nation has become increasingly aware that Umno's prolonged hegemony has deceived the nation - until recently, that is, - into embracing dubious myths as golden formulae for nation-building. Chief among these are the adoption of a coalition of ethnic component parties as a permanent polity to rule the nation. The conversion of extra-constitutional racial privileges evolved from the political agenda of the New Economic Policy as birthright. These heretical ideologies have been the major root causes of the serious political and economic ailments that have plagued the nation.

There are good reasons why Umno leaders have perpetuated these myths. They are to ensure that, through divide and rule strategies, party leaders' political power and personal wealth can be permanently safeguarded.

The leaders of satellite racial parties in the coalition cannot escape responsibility, as without their willing abetment to provide the façade of multi-racialism, Umno's hegemony could not have been so perpetuated.

At this time when the nation is facing unprecedented political and economic turmoil that may make or break it, it is the responsibility of every member of Parliament, in whose hands the fate of the nation has been entrusted, to ponder deeply what he must do that will most benefit the people. Should he allow the nation to drift as it is for another five years until the next election is due, or should he promptly act to contribute towards making a decisive break from the past so as to open a new chapter of hope for the nation now, without going through the hazards of a prolong corrupt rule?

Kim Quek comments regularly on Malaysian political affairs.







Din Merican: the Malaysian DJ BloggerEntries (RSS) Comments (RSS) Home Din Merican’s Welcome For Mat Salo aka Swampman: The Swallows will be backA Badawi Crony and Apologist proffers advice to Najib
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 10, 2008

In: Politics Comment!
source: www.nst.com.my (October 10, 2008)

by Kalimullah M. Hassan

IT was not an easy decision for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to make.Particularly when the democratic
norm — as practised worldwide, save perhaps in Zimbabwe and countries like that — was that he led the party that won by a comfortable 58-seat majority and, therefore, he was the winner.

But in Malaysia, the democratic norm is to win by more than a two-thirds majority, thus having the ability to amend the Constitution whenever you want, and using that legitimacy to make even unpopular decisions as much as you want. Using that principle as a basis, Abdullah had failed.

He lost four states more than previously. He lost the two-thirds majority by eight seats and, therefore, he had lost and should resign.

What was the choice before him? He could fight to defend the presidency of UMNO but that would have come at a cost. An already fractured party would have become even more split.

And for Abdullah, who has always been loyal to UMNO, that was not an option. So, despite much pressure from his ranks, he decided not to hand his successor Datuk Sri Najib Razak a party more racked with internal dissension than he could. He decided to retire.

For UMNO and for the Barisan Nasional, he made the right decision. And by making that decision, he learned the hard way. In UMNO, loyalty to the leader has one important caveat and that caveat is “as long as you are powerful”. For as long as he was powerful, the UMNO ranks, especially those in the Supreme Council, would bend over backwards to be seen as loyal.

But the moment the chips were down, they would abandon the “sinking ship” and run to where they saw the power shifting. And so it was with someone he trusted, like his vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was among the first to call for his resignation. When Muhyiddin saw that the Supreme Council seemed to be backing Abdullah for the so-called transition programme which would see him in office until June 2010, Muhyiddin backed off, in deference to the party and his “loyalty ” to the party.

But when UMNO lost the Permatang Pauh by-election, Muhyiddin once again saw an opportunity and chose Singapore in which to express no confidence in his prime minister, the man who appointed him InternationalTrade and Industry minister.

As with Muhyiddin, also sneaking away were people who had backed Abdullah to the limit, even when his decisions were perhaps worthy of more critical analysis and opposition. People like Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who, perhaps, should realise that March 8 showed that Malaysians, including Malays, are not impressed with kris-waving leaders.

It has happened before. To a man like Tun Ghafar Baba who did not have a mean bone in his body. To people like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Tun Musa Hitam. And to people like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

To the ordinary man with ordinary assumptions of what loyalty means, what happened to Abdullah would be seen as treachery. But in his world, it is called realpolitik. To be fair, Abdullah paid the price for the wrong decisions he made, for the promises he could not fulfil.

After the March 8 general election, his position had become untenable. He took responsibility for it. Yet, all those who had backed him previously conveniently slunk away, allowing all the blame to be heaped on one man — Abdullah.

But yes, that’s politics. Not much honour there, as we all know, no matter what your stripe. Still, it is an exercise in behavioural science to try to fathom how different the political lexicon is from that of ordinary folk.

Take, for example, Abdullah’s predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He says he is happy for UMNO that Abdullah is quitting and that “UMNO can now be rebuilt”. In ordinary circumstances, that would mean that Dr Mahathir loves UMNO and cares for UMNO. In the same breath, Dr Mahathir described Najib as “incompetent” and says he is “not impressed with Najib’s performance as deputy prime minister now”.

And why is Najib incompetent in Dr Mahathir’s view? Because Najib “did not have his own stand and was always following Abdullah’s advice”. If anyone has forgotten, Dr Mahathir backed Musa as his deputy when he became prime minister in 1981. He chose Ghafar as his deputy when Musa quit over “irreconcilable differences” with him in 1985.

Dr Mahathir backed Anwar in 1993 when that ruthlessly ambitious man who would later become his nemesis took on Ghafar in what was one of UMNO’s most corrupt party elections. When he sacked Anwar in 1998, he chose Abdullah as his deputy.

Five years later, Dr Mahathir said he was retiring and that Abdullah was ready to succeed him. Dr Mahathir chose Abdullah — as he did Musa, Ghafar and Anwar. And barely months later, Dr Mahathir started the attacks on his successor, just as he had on all those he had chosen and thrust upon Malaysians before.

Almost his whole family got in the act. His sons Mukhriz and Mokhzani and his associates made numerous unsubstantiated and slanderous allegations against Abdullah and his family, friends and aides. Even Abdullah’s late wife, Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, was not spared Dr Mahathir’s sharp tongue.

And just before the general election, he publicly urged Malaysians not to give the BN a strong mandate. And when the BN indeed failed in that, Dr Mahathir urged Najib to fight Abdullah. Then he asked Muhyiddin when Najib refused (for which Dr Mahathir called him a coward).

One has to go back to Dr Mahathir’s 1996 UMNO presidential address to see what he thought of Muhyiddin. (Muhyiddin lost his bid to be re-elected vice-president that year.) But today, he backs Muhyiddin for UMNO deputy president. What will he say about Muhyiddin when Muhyiddin does not listen to him any more? When everything he tried failed, Dr Mahathir quit UMNO. And he says he loves UMNO.

Dr Mahathir has not been charitable to many people. His family and close friends are perhaps the exception.

When he was not attacking the United States, Margaret Thatcher, the West, the Zionists and the Jews, George Soros, Singapore and currency speculators, it was his own Umno members, the Malays “who forget easily” (Melayu mudah lupa), non-governmental organisations and the judiciary. At least Dr Mahathir believes that no one is perfect. Well, almost…

One thing Najib will not have to worry about is a predecessor breathing down his neck slandering him, his cabinet, his party colleagues, his family, aides and friends. Because, for all his weaknesses, Abdullah is a decent, religious man.

Hopefully, Dr Mahathir will also give him a break. Perhaps the only person who can rival Dr Mahathir in invective and tenacity to condemn others is, ironically, Anwar, his onetime protégé-turned-nemesis.

Najib will have enough on his hands trying to fend off Anwar. If there is one thing Najib should learn from the politics of the last three decades, it is that he must have competent, able people who will give him frank and honest views and back him fully when he makes the right decisions and stick with him when the chips are down.

Reform still needs to be done. And Najib must do it. It will also be inevitable that many will clamour for the old ways to remain, but the truth is Malaysians rejected the old ways on March 8.

Najib must accept that if he is to succeed in revitalising Umno and the BN. It was not the pull factor of the opposition that made people vote for them. It was the push factor of a BN and Umno which just refused to change.

No more racism and religious bigotry, even at the lowest levels, no more cuddling up with businessmen already charting their paths to Putrajaya, no more shadowy awards of contracts and licences other than on merit.

Like it or not, Najib has to make unpopular decisions because the rot set in long ago… long before Abdullah became prime minister. Abdullah could not, and did not, make the changes that people expected of him. For that, he paid the price. That is the way it should be.

There are two other lessons that Najib can learn from Abdullah. One, that the openness and freedom Abdullah allowed cannot be turned back; and two, that it does not pay to be a nice guy in politics.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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11 Responses to "A Badawi Crony and Apologist proffers advice to Najib"
1 | Tok Cik

October 10th, 2008 at 4:13 pm


Read the great Kali’s spin on Badawi and be entertained. He’s enriched himself enough and is safe without his master’s patronage. He now says adieu and leaves the sinking ship paying some overdue homage, of course.

2 | Mr Smith

October 10th, 2008 at 4:31 pm


This seems to be Kali’s valediction. If the writer had seen the rot and the rotten within UMNO and BN why didn’t he expose them. Didn’t he have the NST to mold public opinion and expose the Brutus(es) within UMNO?In UMNO nobody stand with the leader when the chips are down.They kiss your hands (ask Rais) when you have power. But when you are on the way, out this same men will mock you. This is UMNO culture.

3 | Tean

October 10th, 2008 at 4:49 pm


Mr. Bean

“For as long as he was powerful, the UMNO ranks, especially those in the Supreme Council, would bend over backwards to be seen as loyal.”

I just want to add, they also licking the balls (jilat telur) as though the leader is son of God. Kali and his media boys are experts that jilat Abdullah to his glory. On his part Abdullah was feeling so good and geli and oblivous of the real world and the rakyat, thus we have a sleeping Prime Minister for 5 years.

Now, most UMNO boys, with their long tongue, are camping at Najib home. They are having a big parties licking Najib and Rosmah.

4 | Tok Cik

October 10th, 2008 at 4:55 pm


This is Kali’s way of washing dirty linen. Imagine all the things he had said when a few moments ago he would swear on Badawi’s kitab that no such things ever happened in Umno. He’s executed one exciting Indian rope trick and expects us to swallow line hook and sinker. What a bum.

5 | dinobeano

October 10th, 2008 at 5:10 pm


I have said before, nice guys in politics and business finish last. On that point, Kalimullah and I cannot disagree. It is a lesson that Badawi should have learned early in his administration. This means he should have silenced his predecessor who has been given a free hand to criticise his policies and actions and to openly campaign for his political demise.

Tun Dr. Mahathir would not have tolerated this himself and that was reflected in the way he dealt with Tengku Razaleigh, Musa Hitam, Anwar Ibrahim and other detractors. The former Prime Minister is a political realist who knows how to separate his religiousity from his politics. He was an exponent of Machiavelli’s “end justifies the means” precept. He kept his religious convictions private. He knew that his legitimacy would depend on his ability to manage the economy, fight inflation, create jobs and attract foreign investment.

Did Kalimullah offer the same advice to Badawi as he is now proffering to Najib. If he did, then why did the incumbent Prime Minister not follow his advice? My view is that Badawi was too self absorbed in 2004 when he got a resounding mandate to govern to be open to any advice. He was also too busy globetrotting to promote himself and sell his Islam Hadhari programme to the Muslim world at the expense of his domestic reform agenda .

He, therefore, failed to act to exercise the power of his office. He was too timid to remove Mahathir’s men from his first Cabinet in 2004. In stead, he kept a number of pro-Mahathir ministers in key portfolios. When he was given yet another chance to form his second Cabinet in 2008 after the 12th General Elections, he essentially moved the same people around.

Recently on September 17, he failed to eliminate those who openly challenged his leadership of UMNO and called for his resignation. In short, he did not act to reassert himself. In stead, Badawi only swapped portfolios with Najib, giving his Deputy the key Finance Ministry. His policy of appeasement did not work, forcing him to quit.

Having failed to advise to Badawi, Kalimullah is hoping that he can remain a key player in the Najib administration. Hence the timing of his article. As far as one can tell, Najib has his own set of experts and Tun Dr. Mahathir will likely be his economic and political mentor, coming March, 2009. We have been fighting for freedom, democracy and justice should be concerned about is the return of the Tun and UMNO plutocrats and what they can do to perpetuate cronyism and keris wielding Malay nationalism. —Din Merican

6 | doc transz

October 10th, 2008 at 5:11 pm


Pak lah religious celah mana?

7 | Mr Smith

October 10th, 2008 at 5:19 pm


Tun Dr. Mahathir will likely be his economic and political mentor, coming March, 2008.

It should read … march 2009
_________
Thanks. I have corrected the error. —Din Merican

8 | imwatchinu

October 10th, 2008 at 5:33 pm


This article reads like a requiem for the old man, to borrow Dr. Farish Noor’s word. It’s rather pathetic, all the spinning and lame excuses by Kalimullah and his NST gang. The only thing we all can agree is that Mahathir started it all.

9 | gerrie

October 10th, 2008 at 5:54 pm


I was having my lunch when I read the article…bad move. Not only did it ruin my lunch, I almost threw up. All the pots and kettles getting on each other! Just realised that every time I read mainstream media, I get all bothered…note to self…must.not.read.nst or star.

10 | Menyalak-er

October 10th, 2008 at 6:32 pm


Din, well said about the return of Mahatirism and its corrupting cronyism, under Najib. Bumno will never change, because there’s no room for truth and accountability…
While the whole world is on the throes of global recession, our wise 2nd. finance minister is spouting inanities about our ’sound’ fundamentals and that our nation is immune to the looming disaster!
Let us watch their shenanigans as 0903 approaches. One can be assured of more drama and sitcoms, but we must never be distracted by that.
The priority is to handle the economy, not political backstabbing!

11 | Patrick Ling

October 10th, 2008 at 6:42 pm


“…..that it does not pay to be a nice guy in politics.” Yes every leader is a SOB, but not necessarily every SOB is a leader. Which category does he belong to?

As for the other character, he cannot get away from the retribution of ill gotten wealth. It’s called KARMA. Doesn’t matter if you believe in it or not.







Malaysia Returns to the Barisan Fold
Tag it:Written by Our Correspondent
Thursday, 09 October 2008
The ruling national coalition dodges an opposition bullet



With the announcement Wednesday that Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will step down next March for his battered deputy, Najib Tun Razak, to take power, it appears that the ruling national coalition will survive in power and continue to be led by the United Malays National Organisation.

Related story: Contradictions Plague Malaysia's Government

It is not without cost. In Najib, the country is getting a leader who was allegedly up to his eyeteeth as defense minister in a series of unsavory purchases of submarines, jet planes and other armaments on which individuals close to him and Umno earned vast "commissions."

There are also continued questions over the sordid October 2006 murder of a 28-year-old Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was shot in the head and blown up with explosives after being abducted in front of the home of Najib's best friend, the well-connected political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who has been charged in the murder along with two of Najib's bodyguards. It beggars the imagination to believe that somehow Abdul Razak allegedly was able to involve the bodyguards without Najib's knowledge. In addition, according to a statutory declaration filed by a private detective hired by Razak Baginda, she was the lover of both men.

Abdul Razak and the two bodyguards have been standing trial for 17 months despite what looked to most legal observers like an open-and-shut case. While veering close to Najib's coattails numerous times, both the prosecution and the defence have hurriedly skated away from any mention of the deputy prime minister. The very length of the trial, the numerous delays and the striking out of evidence have raised suspicions that the proceedings are being drawn out to prepare for either acquittals or diminished sentences for the three, perhaps to keep them from pointing the finger at Najib.

Whether Najib can rule effectively is questionable. His selection in essence returns UMNO and the Barisan to the very people who generated electoral outrage by cronyism, nepotism and the creation of a class of what were called "Umnoputeras" basically getting rich off government largesse and running a series of government-linked companies into the ground. (Ethnic Malays are known as bumiputeras, or sons of the soil.)

There is not only the Altantuya case but a variety of other problems - the global economic crisis that is beginning to hit banking and exports, lukewarm support from a faction-ridden UMNO and barely concealed antipathy of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has accused Najib of being weak, indecisive and beholden to Badawi. There is also the growing clout of the man expected to be his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, who is regarded as having engineered Badawi's departure.

In the meantime, the opposition may be fading. In the aftermath of March 8 elections that cost the Barisan four state governments and its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat or parliament, it first appeared that the opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim would be able to solidify its base and take over. However, Anwar made a daring public bet that he would have the forces in parliament to take over on September 16. When that didn't happen, Malaysians appear to be wearily returning to the Barisan fold, although some observers dispute that.

"After seeing how much instability there is and how unworkable the country is, even the Chinese will go back to the Malaysian Chinese Association," said a well-connected lawyer. "The economy must improve, everybody must do well financially. The general feeling is that the opposition has crested. The non-Malays and foreigners were supporting Badawi, thinking Badawi was going to do away with the Umno system. In the end, they think playing the game means no joy. Today, Anwar is mostly backed by non-Malays, the rest will all rally with Umno. The opposition wanted reform, they wanted change, but they didn't do it wisely. That just woke up the Malays."

The winner, or at least one of the winners, is Mahathir, who mounted a vitriolic campaign against the hapless Badawi almost immediately after the latter took over and began cancelling some of Mahathir's white elephant projects. Badawi initially instituted some badly needed reforms before pressure from within the party forced him to back away. He didn't help himself much by being largely ineffective. He also signalled to the judiciary that it was at least nominally independent, and the courts responded by freeing Mahathir's mortal enemy, Anwar, the former deputy prime minister, from six years in prison on sexual perversion charges that were largely viewed as trumped up.

Mahathir accused Badawi of cronyism and nepotism, ignoring the fact that cronyism and nepotism had reached unprecedented levels during his own 22-year reign. In particular, he went after Badawi's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, whom he accused of controlling the prime minister and of using Badawi's name to gain success in business.

Mahathir ostentatiously quit the party after it appeared he would be investigated for his role in a judicial scandal in which a lawyer was surreptitiously videotaped describing the fixing of judicial appointments. However, he continued to pummel Badawi from outside the party and through his blog, Chedet.com, and to work through the party faithful that he had installed and promoted during his time in office. With Badawi now headed out, Mahathir has turned his sights on Khairy, who is seeking to become UMNO Youth leader Mahithir's son, Mukhriz, is expected to campaign for the same position.

Another winner is Muhyiddin Yassin, 51, a Johor-based UMNO stalwart who is currently the minister of trade and industry. He has also served as an UMNO vice president and in a variety of other cabinet posts. He is widely regarded as an eventual candidate for prime minister if UMNO can keep itself together.

Najib does face some uncertainty besides the questions over corruption and the murder. He must first go through the party election process, which starts today with nominations, and the election next March. He is being challenged by the septuagenarian Kelantan prince, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, but most observers believe Razaleigh, who repeatedly challenged Mahathir for primacy in the party, is a spent force.

He must also survive possible scrutiny over his role, if any, in the Altantuya murder. The courts and the legal system have deliberately overlooked allegations of Najib's complicity in the Mongolian woman's murder, and considerable related evidence of corruption on his part in the purchase of three French submarines for the Malaysian military ‑ a purchase that Altantuya may have participated in as a translator. This has been pushed under the carpet repeatedly, but if the opposition is in partial retreat, it seems unlikely that the compliant judiciary will move to take on a rising Najib.

Najib is also widely suspected to participating in the fabrication of new allegations against Anwar of consensual sodomy with a 23-year-old former aide. Anwar has denied the allegations, saying they were an attempt to drive him out of politics again. Although Anwar has been arrested and charged, it is unclear when or if the government will pull him into court. A bill has already been passed by the parliament to force him to give a DNA sample, something he has refused to do because, he claims, the sample could be misused and planted as evidence against him.








Halting the decline
10 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By Deborah Loh
deborahloh@thenutgraph.com


How severely are the streets of Malaysia paved with dirty money? (© Stephen Finn / Dreamstime)

PERCEPTION, it is said, is everything. And when it comes to corruption in the government, Malaysia just cannot seem to shake it off. Despite strides taken to cut bureaucracy and increase transparency in government services, the country's overall score in the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) continues to slip.

Malaysia scored 5.1 out of 10 in the 2008 CPI, and was ranked 47th of 180 countries surveyed. The index measures the degree of perceived corruption among public officials and politicians. It was released on 23 Sept 2008 by Transparency International (TI) Malaysia.

The country's average score over the last eight years is 5.05, while its ranking has slipped from 36th place among 91 countries surveyed in 2001.

As the number of countries surveyed has increased, Malaysia's global ranking has fallen, putting it far behind Singapore, the world's fourth most transparent country with a score of 9.2.

Malaysia's stagnant score is not for a lack of effort, though more could be done by the civil service. The problem, according to good governance watchdogs, lies with our political culture and its patronage system.


There is no transparent process of accountability to prevent
corrupt practices by political parties, including during
election time No transparency

The civil service has been helped by the joint private sector-government Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) to respond more efficiently to clients. Since 2007, Pemudah has sped up and simplified applications for business licences and the hiring of expatriates, cleared the backlog for land approvals, and hastened refunds for overpaid taxes.

But Pemudah's ambit does not extend to political parties. Political parties have their code of ethics and internal disciplinary measures, but these are only applied at the discretion of the party leadership. Action is only taken after an alleged corrupt act. There is no transparent process of accountability to prevent such acts in the first place.

Even Malaysia's Elections Offences Act 1954 (revised 1969), which limits candidates' expenses during campaigning (RM200,000 for parliamentary candidates and RM100,000 for state seat candidates), does not cover expenses by the candidates' parties, which clearly run into far higher sums.

TI, which monitored election spending by Barisan Nasional during the 8 March 2008 general election, has said that some RM1.5 million was spent on election advertisements in domestic newspapers for three days from 25 to 27 Feb.

The Elections Offences Act also requires candidates to file their election expenses within 31 days after the election results are published in the Gazette, or be fined RM5,000 and lose the seat.

But merely filing a statement without any audit or disclosure is not transparency, Malaysian Institute for Corporate Governance (MICG) president Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas tells The Nut Graph.

So long as political funding and spending remains opaque, Malaysia's CPI score will be in limbo, between that of first- and third-world countries, despite its ambitions of being a fully developed nation by 2020.

Perception does matter

Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) president Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh says the local political culture of patronage directly contributes to the CPI score, since perception of political corruption is one of the sub-indices measured.

"Money politics is something everybody knows about, and it is even reported in the press [that] some politicians get involved in it to get elected.

"The impact on the CPI score is that it cancels out efforts made by the civil service to be more transparent, as politicians are leaders of the country and people look to them. If they do not clean up their act, it obviously affects perception," Mohd Tap tells The Nut Graph.

Former senior civil servant and now TI Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam adds that corruption in politics can affect the civil service by using the public delivery system to achieve political agendas or personal enrichment.

This scenario gives rise to the perception that certain government projects are approved based on political connections.

"Public officials and politicians are sometimes closely inter-related. Officials are also part of the political system," Ramon says.


Corruption in politics affects the civil service, says TI
Malaysia president Ramon Adds Megat Najmuddin: "Look at the cases of public buildings where the ceilings collapse, and schools where new computers don't work. To me, they may or may not be linked to politics, but they are all incidents of corruption in the civil service."

Watchdogs say it will be a long road to changing the political culture, but the first step is to regulate political funding. A system of accountability, once introduced, will hopefully bring other shadowy machinations into the light.

TI is embarking on the Crinis Project (crinis in Latin meaning "a ray of light") here to evaluate current laws and processes on the political financing of parties and candidates during election and non-election periods.

The two-year project has just started, says Megat Najmuddin, and will ultimately recommend to the government political funding laws. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's expert in constitutional law Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi has been commissioned to conduct the study.

The Crinis Project has been conducted in eight Latin American countries, where joint studies by TI and The Carter Centre (founded by former US president Jimmy Carter) have found a lack of accountability in the political funding process.

Follow the money trail


(© Ijansempoi / Dreamstime)
Megat Najmuddin, who is also a TI executive council member, says: "If we are serious about curbing money politics, the funding process is where we should start. Money is a necessity in politics for party overheads and to run programmes, but as it is now there is no transparency. We don't know who or where the money is coming from."

The study will look at laws in other countries. The United States regulates campaign financing under its Federal Election Campaign Act 1971. It requires election candidates to disclose their sources of campaign contributions and expenditure, limits the amount of contributions made, and also stipulates who and what type of organisation may raise funds and make donations. It also allows funding from taxpayers' money for presidential and general elections, and places limits on candidates who accept public funding.

The US law also bans certain sources of funding, namely from corporations, labour organisations, banks, government contractors and foreign nationals. Donations in cash over US$100 are also prohibited, as are anonymous contributions. Penalties for breaching these regulations are fines imposed by the Federal Election Commission.

Additionally, civil society also plays a strong role in monitoring and disclosing campaign funding and expenditure. The OpenSecrets.org Centre for Responsive Politics lists on its website the donors, amount of contributions, and spending details of current presidential candidates Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.

Closer to home, Singapore leads the region in transparency in political party funding. Political parties in the city state are required to submit yearly reports on donations received to the Registrar of Political Donations. Donors must also report their contributions above SD$10,000. However, it is not necessary for these disclosures to be made public.

According to the Sweden-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Malaysia ranks alongside Myanmar and Cambodia in having no regulatory provisions for political funding.


Mohd Tap: CPI score is low because of money politics
(Source: iim.com.my) Mohd Tap says the US system whereby presidential candidates can apply for a portion of public funds for their campaigns enhances political parties' responsibility towards the taxpaying public. It frees candidates from the controversies of fundraising, and helps them avoid potentially questionable sources.

"Here, if a politician joins a party, they have to use their own money. If you don't have money, you are tempted to resort to other means to get it," says Mohd Tap.

How your money is being used

Disclosure on campaign expenditure is important because taxpayers, whose contributions are meant to help the running of the government administration, have every right to know how their money is being used.

Allegations of such misuse were made against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak twice to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) on 5 Aug and 4 Sept. The complainant, former Umno Youth exco member Datuk Mazlan Harun, alleged that the two leaders had used an agency under the Information Ministry to campaign for their positions among Umno branch and division leaders. This was said to include providing hotel accommodation and pocket money. Abdullah and Najib have since denied any wrongdoing, while the ACA is silent on the case.

Few politicians have been charged for money politics under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997. Seremban Umno deputy division chief, businessman Mohd Nor Awang, may have been the first party member to have charges brought against him. He pleaded not guilty on 2 Sept 2008 to two counts of corruption for offering money to an Umno branch head in exchange for nominations for the division's top post in the coming party elections.

It is hoped that Mohd Nor's case is the start of a new aggressiveness on the ACA's part to check corruption in political parties. Until his case, the norm in Umno has been to merely suspend guilty party members without referring their cases to the ACA.

What political funding legislation can provide that the ACA cannot is an accountability process that discloses the sources of money coming to political parties and into politicians' hands; how that money is spent; and the limits on donations received and spending.


Nazri Aziz: The next best thing is to regulate political spending Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, minister in the prime minister's department in charge of parliamentary affairs and law, welcomes efforts to institute political funding regulations.

"It is difficult to stop spending in politics, so the next best thing is to try to regulate it," Nazri says of the Crinis Project.

Mohd Tap is confident that the ACA's increased activeness in prosecuting top civil servants for graft will be reflected in a higher CPI score next year.

He points to recent cases such as immigration director-general Datuk Wahid Md Don, tourism director-general Datuk Mirza Mohamad Taiyab, Perak executive councillors Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, plus the clean-up at the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom). The ACA's revamp into the independent Malaysian Commission Against Corruption in 2009 is also expected to push the score up.

But before Malaysia can get a score worthy of a first-world nation, much more has to be done. And money politics, "the mother of all corruption", has to be nipped in the bud. A transparent process to disclose political funding and expenditures can be the first step.









Shaping his legacy
9 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By Deborah Loh
deborahloh@thenutgraph.com


There will soon be a new face on this poster as Abdullah bids farewell to the prime ministership

AFTER a stormy five years at the helm, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is bidding adieu to the infighting within his own Umno party, and the Malaysian political stage. But there is no quiet exit planned for the outgoing prime minister, who has pledged to do in the next few months what he has failed to achieve in five years: push through his promises for reform.

At a press conference after chairing a special Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meeting on 8 Oct 2008, a smiling Abdullah announced that he would quit the Umno presidency next March, and consequently, the prime ministership. When asked by a reporter how he felt, he smiled and said: "OK, I am all right."


Najib (left) and Abdullah, with BN secretary-general Datuk Seri
Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, before the start of the supreme
council meetingAfter barely surviving an internal party tussle over his transfer of power to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Abdullah, 68, will now try to salvage what's left of his premiership by attempting to push through initiatives in five areas.

First on his cards is the Judicial Appointments Commission, which has received opposition from some of his own party leaders and cabinet ministers. Abdullah said he would table a parliamentary bill to form the commission before the end of his term. "Such a commission will propose judicial appointments in a transparent and merit-based manner," he said.

Second is the reforming of the Anti-Corruption Agency into an independent body with greater powers of investigation and enforcement. A bill will be tabled in Parliament before the end of this year, Abdullah said.

The third item on his reform platform is the setting up of a Special Complaints Commission to handle grouses about law enforcement agencies. This would take the place of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) proposed by a Royal Commission that investigated the 2005 case of a woman detainee who was videotaped doing ear-squats in the nude while in police custody. The Special Complaints Commission bill was tabled for first reading in Parliament in December 2007, but has yet to be passed.


Poster by a group of Abdullah supporters calling for the transition
plan to be respected and to avoid splits in Umno Healing hurts

Widening the social safety net for the poor and ensuring more equitable distribution of wealth is also on his agenda, as is calling for a Barisan Nasional Convention in early 2009 to heal racial differences and hurts.

"Society has seen an alarming decline in inter-racial and inter-religious relations. Various issues have cropped up which threaten to tear the very fabric of Malaysian life," Abdullah said.

While Abdullah earned the praises of the BN component party leaders for his commitment to reform, some analysts wonder if he can fulfil his promises. There is a lot to do and very little time to do it.

Independent political analyst Josh Hong says Abdullah is unrealistic in thinking that he can effectively implement reforms when he is seen as an outgoing premier who has already given up power within his own party.

Hong reasons that Abdullah could lose control of the civil service, which would be shifting gears to take instructions from his deputy, Najib. Najib is expected to place his own advisers within the administration.


Abdullah's initiatives might be impeded by
the fact that Najib is taking over"Whatever initiatives Abdullah comes up with, his wings will be clipped not only by the fact that Najib is taking over, but by the reluctance of the civil service to implement his policies," Hong says.

"The only reform he may have a small measure of success in is making the Anti-Corruption Agency independent and accountable to Parliament, because work on that has already begun.

"As for judicial reform, I don't have much confidence [it will happen, especially] with Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as the de-facto law minister."

Strong political will

Associate Prof Dr Mohd Agus Yusoff says Abdullah must now show strong political will, something he says was in short supply the last five years.

"If he wants to leave a big mark on society, he should do something like abolishing the Internal Security Act (ISA)," says Mohd Agus, a political analyst from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

"With the little time left, he should go for populist policies so that the rakyat can live comfortably; and for things the rakyat and the opposition parties have been asking for, like really going after major corruption cases. He should be a populist, as not all populist policies are bad."

But when asked at his press conference if he would repeal the ISA as part of his reforms, Abdullah said: "Certain things I can do right away, certain things I cannot."

Mohd Agus says some of the earlier things Abdullah might be noted for include promoting his brand of Islam Hadhari; his emphasis on building human capital; and efforts to improve the public delivery service through the Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business (Pemudah).

"But people may not remember these because unlike Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who left his mark with mega development projects, Abdullah has not left much that is very tangible."


Mahathir left his mark with mega development projectsOpposition to reforms


Knowing that there will be a new president after March who will then take over as prime minister, will those opposed to reforms be motivated enough to assist Abdullah?

"His problem has been his capability to command and execute. He will have to work very hard in this area, and must have extra will to fight those in Umno who oppose larger societal reform," says Mohd Agus.

But Abdullah brushed off suggestions at the press conference that he would face opposition to his initiatives.

"There may be differences of opinion, but these are not necessarily obstacles to reform," he said.

Hong and Mohd Agus say Malaysians must assess the depths of the reforms in the coming months to know if they are real or just plain window-dressing.

Regardless of how far Abdullah gets with his reforms, he will be remembered for at least trying. However, it will be debated whether the openness and transparency he has tried to advocate during his stewardship was by design or due to his weak leadership style.

Ironically, these were the very things that may have led to his undoing as Umno president. Party members long used to the iron-fisted rule of Dr Mahathir took advantage of Abdullah's more open style to undermine him.

The embattled party president came under intense pressure to quit after the BN's poor showing in the 8 March general election, forcing him to agree to a transition of power with Najib slated for June 2010. But as the months wore on, party leaders lost patience and began to agitate for a quicker transition. So on 26 Sept, Abdullah announced the Umno supreme council's decision to postpone party elections from December 2008 to March 2009, and to bring forward the power transfer to Najib.


Abdullah has left the building

When asked if he felt that his promotion of more openness had backfired on him with his own party leaders asking him to leave, a stoic Abdullah replied: "I do not regret what I've done. How people react is up to them. I've always believed there should be more room for democratic discourse."

In the final reckoning, that may be Abdullah's greatest legacy.



The third force in Malaysian politics
8 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By Wong Chin Huat
editor@thenutgraph.com



THE "third force" seems to be a phrase that is capturing the imagination of political parties and civil society.

Instead of joining the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Pakatan Rakyat, why can't a party find its own niche and survive? Why can't it struggle independently and choose to cooperate with the two larger players on its own terms?

In other words, why not become a king-maker and make the best of it?

Take a look at the offers made to East Malaysian politicians (still paltry, but nevertheless the most generous since 1963), and it is easy to understand how good it is to be a king-maker if you cannot, or do not, want to be king.

National two-partyism

In Germany, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) was the indispensible junior partner in the coalition government during the greater part of the 1960s until 1982. While the larger Christian Democratic Union-Christian Socialist Union and Social Democratic Party fought to take the lead, they couldn't do it without the FDP's support.

In Britain, the centrist Liberal Democratic Party (Lib Dem) is always the beneficiary when voters get disillusioned with both the Conservatives on the right and Labour on the left. While the Lib Dems have never surpassed the Big Two in terms of votes, they have grown substantially at the local level.

Has there ever been a success story of a third force in Peninsular Malaysia? The answer is no. Technically, you must have a second force before you can have a third. We have had only brief periods of national two-partyism — around 1990, 1999, and now in 2008.


Tan Chee Khoon founded Pekemas after he got
disillusioned with Gerakan, which he also co-
founded (Source: Academy of Medicine of
Malaysia) Before 1990, DAP and PAS were very much the second force in their respective strongholds: the urban seats for the former, and the Malay heartland for the latter. The third force — whether it was the late Tan Sri Tan Chee Khoon's Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia (Pekemas), or Datuk Mohamad Nasir's Barisan Jama'ah Islamiah Se Malaysia (Berjasa) — never won in more than one election. Others, like the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Parti Hizbul Muslimin Malaysia (Hamim), and even the respectable Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) fared even worse.

Berjasa is perhaps the best example of what can happen in third-party dynamics. The fallout between Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Nasir and party president Tan Sri Mohd Asri Muda in the late 1970s resulted in the former setting up Berjasa as a splinter party. It chose not to join the BN, but would cooperate with Umno in attacking PAS.

While the strategy caused great damage to PAS in the 1978 state election, Berjasa's success only lasted one election.

Spoiler alert


Why was Berjasa's success so short-lived? The simple answer is that at the local level, the third party acts as a spoiler, not a king-maker, under the First-Past-the-Post electoral system.

Since there is only one winner, every vote for the third or fourth candidate would be wasted. Rational voters therefore abandon third candidates, no matter how good they may be, preferring to support the lesser evil between the top two. Hence, you cannot be a king-maker at the national or state level unless you become the first or second force at the local level.

And the national or state scenario may in turn change the local scene. Even Berjasa, though strong at the local level, got winnowed in Kelantan. It seems there was room for only one Islamist party, and the religious voters chose PAS over Berjasa.


It makes sense for Yong Teck Lee's Sabah
Progressive Party to pull out of the BN but
not join the Pakatan Rakyat (Source:
pilihanraya.com.my) So, pulling out of the BN but not joining the Pakatan Rakyat makes great sense for Yong Teck Lee's Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). If it contests the seats previously contested by its erstwhile non-Muslim BN partners, it stands a good chance to garner most of the anti-BN votes.

Even if the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) join the fray, they will likely be seen as spoilers, since they have relatively weaker organisational capacities in East Malaysia.

Any East Malaysian party that leaves the BN can count on riding on the anti-BN wave. This is why crossovers or pullouts will eventually happen before the next elections as long as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim still wields influence.

The BN parties will all be tempted by the advantage of being the first to leave the BN — whether they end up joining the Pakatan Rakyat or not — and expanding their territories at the expense of other parties.

The same may not be said about Umno's partners in the peninsula, namely Gerakan and the MCA.

Let's say an independent Gerakan or the MCA appears as the third force between the Pakatan Rakyat (namely DAP or PKR) and the BN (whether represented by Umno or some non-Malay proxy). It is still quite unlikely that voters — especially non-Malays — will choose them over the Pakatan Rakyat.

It is clear that the next general election will be about whether to end the BN/Umno's rule. So why should you waste your vote on a party — even if it is successful — to make the outcome even more uncertain?

The way out

Gerakan and the MCA have only two viable choices — stay with the BN or join the Pakatan Rakyat. Unfortunately, neither option is currently attractive.

Since non-Malay voters will be set to throw Umno out, if these parties were to stay with Umno, they would get thrown out, too. However, if they joined the Pakatan Rakyat, they may not be given good seats. After all, would the DAP be so kind to return currently held seats in Penang, Perak and Selangor to Gerakan and the MCA?


Can Gerakan save Umno? For Gerakan, there is one more option — join PKR en bloc and get seat allocations as a faction. For the MCA, this option is almost nonexistent as its leaders and members who are accustomed to mono-ethnic politics may feel very out of place in multiracial PKR.

So, what should Gerakan and MCA do? Reforming themselves is pointless unless they can also reform the BN. The next elections will effectively be a national referendum on the survival of the BN — and how many non-Malays would vote to keep Umno and the BN in power?

Therefore, these two parties have to forget about being the third force. Their best bet is to give Umno and the BN an ultimatum. If Umno is forced to oblige, they can claim credit and arrest the attrition of support. If Umno refuses or even runs amok, they will become martyrs and have better bargaining power when they join the Pakatan Rakyat.

For their own self-interest, their wish list should include local elections. Given the relatively mono-ethnic electorate in most municipal jurisdictions, non-Malay voters can then feel free to divest between the DAP/PKR and the MCA/Gerakan without worrying that it would result in an Umno-dominated council.

Umno also stands to gain by introducing local elections, since Malay voters in the Pakatan Rakyat-held states can feel secure in splitting their votes between Umno and PKR/PAS without worrying that Malay representation in government will be weakened.

But can Gerakan or the MCA make such a bold decision? Will they dare to save Umno and the BN with this extreme measure? Only time will tell.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


POLITICS-MALAYSIA: Mahathir May Return to Centre Stage
Analysis by Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (IPS) - Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s planned stepping down in March 2009 may well see a return to the authoritarian rule familiar to Malaysians during the 22-year iron rule of his predecessor Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

For one thing Abdullah will be handing over power to his deputy Najib Razak who has been waiting in the wings ever since Mahathir retired in November 2003.

"Mr Najib is a carbon copy of Dr Mahathir and we fear in his rise to power a possible return of iron-fisted rule and intolerance for dissent and curbs on the political opposition," said a diplomat with a European mission, on condition of anonymity.

Najib an economist by training has vast experience in government and politics but has always been in the shadow of Mahathir and Abdullah.

His views and policies on dissent, human rights and the political opposition are relatively unknown.

Critics said Najib’s rise to power would also see the return of Mahathir to political centre stage, probably as a tenured advisor to the government.

"I welcome the departure of Abdullah and am ready to give advise to the new government," Mahathir told local reporters after confirming that Abdullah was leaving.

Abdullah, who failed to carry out the major reforms he had promised in 2004, has promised to implement at least three reforms before he leaves in March but civil society activists are not excited by his promise.

Abdullah said he would not abolish the draconian internal security act (ISA), which allows for detention without trial, but will see to the setting up of an independent commission to select judges, an independent oversight commission to curb police corruption and abuse and place the Anti-Corruption Agency under an independent commission and give it more bite.

"He should carry out these reforms in the short time he has," veteran opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang told IPS. "If he is serious and if he gets cracking we will cooperate with him and he would be assured of a permanent legacy and will be remembered well."

Although Abdullah failed to carry out the promised reforms he remained a well liked figure among the people who understood that he could not act because he was under siege from within and outside.

"While most Malaysians welcome Najib, they also feel sad that Abdullah is leaving," said Ramon Navaratnam, a former senior finance ministry official who is now the president of Transparency International, Malaysia.

"He was a most likable and affable leader but he was rather unhurried about his job. He delayed reforms and was indecisive and that got him into trouble with the people," he told IPS. Although Abdullah’s decision to leave has settled the succession battle in his ruling United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) party it is unlikely to end the larger political battle between a resurgent opposition led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and a considerably weakened Barisan Nasional ruling coalition.

Political analysts say the tussle would worsen because Abdullah's choice, Najib Razak, and the iconic opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, are arch-rivals for political power.

Abdullah rose up the ranks of UMNO but was well liked and in the shadows during the 22 years when Dr Mahathir held sway. Dr Mahathir had said last year he picked Abdullah as a "temporary substitute" to hold the seat for Najib.

"Abdullah would be remembered as a pleasant man who simply did not have the skills or the gumption to rule," said a Chinese newspaper editor who declined to be identified. "He tried to please everybody and in the end failed to please anybody."

Najib was only 22 when he entered politics after the death of his father, revered second prime minister Abdul Razak, in 1976. He became the country's youngest minister two years later.

But his standing has been damaged by links to the 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman with whom he allegedly had an affair. Anwar also accused him of receiving kickbacks on defence deals he had handled.

Najib denied the allegations and swore on the Quran that he had never met Altantuya Shaariibuu, a former model who was blown up with C4 explosives.

Reacting to the developments Anwar said it would be an "unmitigated disaster" for Malaysia if Najib became prime minister. "Najib has given no indication of his commitment to judicial reform and corruption. These are issues that the Malaysian people expressed deep concerns over," he said.

"Malaysians fear that under Najib democratic freedoms will be curtailed and the use of draconian laws such as the ISA would be extended," Anwar said. He also referred to "unanswered questions" over alleged defence contract kickbacks and the Shaariibuu murder.

"He [Najib]takes over at a very difficult time for Malaysia, with political and economic turmoil on the rise and with all previously accepted norms now under attack," said Navaratnam.

"He has the experience and UMNO backing, but he is under a cloud over the Mongolian affair," he added. "His performance as national leader would be affected unless the controversy is cleared up.’

Foreign diplomats say Najib's immediate tasks included getting a grip on the sliding economy, reassuring foreign investors and easing rising ethnic tensions.

"He really has some big and complex issues to deal with," said the European diplomat.





How Malaysia's PM fell from grace

By Robin Brant
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur


Abdullah Badawi said he had not been forced out.


Mr Badawi (standing) is due to step down in March

When I asked him if he regretted being pushed, he gestured to the man sitting beside him, his deputy and heir Najib Razak, and to the other politicians around him from the ruling coalition.

He said: "Ask them if they have forced me out." A few shook their heads but Malaysia's fifth prime minister is not leaving office in March 2009 because he wants to. He is leaving because he has to.

There are still a few months to go but the epitaph will not be kind.

"He was weak, he was reluctant to do things which he should've done," says Chandra Muzaffar, a political analyst and academic.

After promising so much in 2004 when he secured a record victory at the polls, Dr Muzaffar believes Abdullah Badawi squandered a mandate for reform because he could not deliver.

"There is, I think, a personality factor at play - the reluctance on his part to antagonise people, to do things which a reform-minded prime minister will have to," he says.

'Power first'

The man who is almost certain to succeed him has been groomed for the job from the day he was born.


The government under Najib will be ruthless

Anwar Ibrahim
opposition leader

Najib Razak is the son of Malaysia's second prime minister. He has been in parliament since his early 20s.

"People expect him to be tougher," opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim told the BBC.

"The government under Najib will be ruthless."

He believes that little will change come next year when the handover takes place.

"Nothing is resolved, he is surrendering to a person who is badly tarnished," he told me.

That is a reference to sensational claims that the deputy prime minister was involved in the murder of a woman.

Najib Razak has strongly denied the allegation.

One of his closest advisors is on trial for the killing.

In an interview with the BBC last August, he did admit that there had been questions about his reputation but said: "I think I have cleared my name... my conscience is clear."

There are those who see this British-educated economist as the insider who can bring about change.

"Najib knows that if Umno [the United Malays National Organisation] and the Barisan Nasional [National Front] don't change, in the short term, they will be in deep trouble," says political analyst Dr Muzaffar.

But he believes that he will not promise a raft of radical reform, like the changes Abdullah Badawi promised for the judiciary and the corruption agency, adding:

"What impels him to bring about change is not so much a commitment to reform as a commitment to power."

Fatal slip

The reason Abdullah Badawi is going is because he came close to losing power.

In Malaysia's 51-year history that has never happened.

The same side has been in charge from Day One.

The country had continued its impressive economic growth under his watch.

But divisions which have haunted this multi-racial and multi-religious nation at times bubbled to the surface once more.

When his second general election as leader came around earlier this year, the people punished him.

Malaysia's minority Chinese and Indians deserted the government in droves. The prime minister was humiliated. The Barisan Nasional won but with a much reduced majority. Support for the opposition swelled to unprecedented levels.

In the days and weeks after the result, Abdullah Badawi faced down his critics.

Then came the first sign of mounting dissent in the ranks.

He agreed to hand over to his number two in 2010. That failed to allay the fears of those who thought the government was doomed unless it changed leader and direction.

So after months of in-fighting he is going, much earlier than he said he planned to go.

"In all my years of service, I've always been guided by my conscience - I've always placed the interests of the nation above all," Abdullah Badawi said as he announced his decision.

"It is with this in mind that I announce I will not be standing... in the coming party elections."

He said he was going to ensure unity.

End of the road

Unity is a crucial theme in Malaysia. This is a country of different races, different religions, with people of vastly differing wealth. For 51 years it has remained mostly stable and peaceful, but fundamental problems remain.

The increasing role of Islam, the religion of the Malay majority, worries the country's 35% non-Muslims.

A decades-old economic policy which gives preferential treatment to Malays still causes bitterness and anger. Malays can jump the queue for university places, government jobs and housing.

Abdullah Badawi's reign will stretch to almost six years by the time he steps down but he may be remembered most for events in the final months.

With an invigorated opposition threatening to take power, the prime minister and his government resorted to desperate acts.

An opposition member of parliament, a journalist and a prominent blogger were arrested and detained under strict security laws. They were deemed a threat to national security.

Anwar Ibrahim is facing a trail for sodomy, an accusation many believe is fabricated and politically motivated.

Malaysia is at a "historic crossroads" the prime minister said as he announced his departure.

"We must reform and mature," he added.

Now that responsibility will fall to someone else. The era of the man known affectionately as Pak Lah, meaning Uncle Abdullah, is almost over.








Zaid: Mahathir is back in power with Najib
Saturday, 11 October 2008 09:54am
©The Malaysian Insider (Used by permission)
by Leslie Lau, Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim says Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s impending rise to become Umno president and Prime Minister marks the return of “Mahathirism”.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said, will become Malaysia’s “de facto PM”, standing behind Najib.

He said the fall of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is a result of Dr Mahathir prevailing.

Zaid, who resigned recently from Abdullah's Cabinet in protest against the use of the Internal Security Act, said he did not expect Najib to continue Abdullah's reform agenda once he takes over.

"Legal and constitutional reforms make you less powerful, more accountable and less able to use the privileges of power.

"Why would someone trained and schooled by Dr Mahathir introduce reforms. Have you heard Najib speak of reforms?” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Zaid said he expects Najib's administration to be more authoritarian with more controls and restrictions compared to that of Abdullah's.

Abdullah, he said, believed in reforms, but "he did not have the stomach" to push through the changes needed.

During the interview he also responded to allegations made against him by Dr Mahathir on the latter's blog recently.

In his chedet.com blog, Dr Mahathir accused Zaid of being in Perth, Australia during the March general election, and for helping the Pas candidate win the Kota Baru constituency against the Barisan Nasional.

Dr Mahathir also criticised Zaid's move as minister to have the government institute ex-gratia payments to the judges who were sacked as a result of the 1988 judicial crisis.

Said Zaid in response: "He says I helped the Pas candidate, but the fact is Pas was going to win no matter what because of the anti-BN mood.

"He has conveniently forgotten that he actively asked the people to vote against BN to teach Abdullah a lesson."

Zaid added that Dr Mahathir would never be able to accept why ex-gratia payments were made to the judges because it reflects badly on his legacy as Prime Minister.

He said Dr Mahathir would never understand the need for reforms because, to him, "more authoritarianism is better”.

The former minister said Malaysia's political and economic uncertainties today is a result of Dr Mahathir.

He also blamed Dr Mahathir for Umno's unpopularity and lack of proper leadership.

"The truth is we have had no proper election since 1987," he said in reference to the year in which Dr Mahathir defeated Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah by a wafer-thin majority to retain the Umno presidency.

Soon after that election, Umno was declared illegal in a court case which led eventually to the 1988 judicial crisis and the sacking of judges involved in the case.

Under Dr Mahathir, the Societies Act was also subsequently amended disallowing judicial review of any political party decision.

"After the Societies Act was amended the president of Umno could do anything.

"You have destroyed the fabric of our lives as a democracy. Have you not done enough?''

Zaid said Malaysia faced an uncertain and more authoritarian future when Najib takes over.

"You had 23 years of Dr Mahathir, so let's say Najib lasts for 10 years as PM with Mahathir behind him. That means a total of 33 years under Dr Mahathir."








Don’t back Zaki, Kit Siang tells PM
Saturday, 11 October 2008 08:39am
©The Star (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah should not support the appointment of Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zaki Azmi as the next Chief Justice if he is serious about judicial reforms, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said.

He said the appointment could cause another era of judicial crisis because of Zaki’s association with Umno.

He pointed out that Zaki was the Umno legal adviser, chairman of the Umno election committee and deputy chairman of the Umno disciplinary board of appeal.

“It is this possibility which holds the seeds of plunging the country into a new judicial scandal and crisis,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Lim agreed with the Bar Council that the new Chief Justice must have the necessary qualities to set the tone of the judiciary and guide its direction, and that an independent judiciary was more critical at a time when the nation is facing many political challenges.

“Abdullah should consider this advice especially when the planned Judicial Appointments Commission has not been set up.”

Lim also pondered whether the new Chief Justice would be appointed after the rulers’ conference in Kuala Terengganu on Oct 15 and 16.

He said that if Zaki becomes Chief Justice next week, the constitutional provision was likely to be invoked for a full parliamentary debate on a substantive motion into his suitability and qualification.











Bar: Consulting rulers critical in appointment of Chief Justice
Thursday, 09 October 2008 07:49pm
©The Sun (Used by permission)
by Giam Say Khoon

PETALING JAYA (Oct 9, 2008) : The Bar Council has described as "critical" the constitutional process of consulting the Conference of Rulers in the appointment of the Chief Justice (CJ), as it will raise it above partisan politics.

Its president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said in a statement today the consultation draws on the wealth of the Rulers' wisdom and expertise and is an essential check and balance in the appointment and promotion of judges.

"In the absence of a Judicial Appointments Commission, it is hoped the applicable criteria which represent the acceptable norms in such an appointment will guide the selection process of the important post of the CJ which becomes vacant on Oct 18," she said.

Her statement comes in the wake of reports recently that speculated on who would likely be the next CJ.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zaki Azmi, 62, the number two in the judicial ladder, is touted as the front-runner for appointment to head the bench.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, 62, and Federal Court judge Datuk Arifin Zakaria, 60, are also likely candidates.

Ambiga said: "It is also imperative that the CJ be a person who is widely perceived to be above and independent of any political alliances or influences. This is all the more critical at this time when the nation faces many political challenges.

"When all else may seem to be in a state of flux and confusion, an independent judiciary stands above the fray, giving the nation's citizens a sense of security and stability that justice will continue to be administered in accordance with the rule of law, no matter what the circumstances."

She said seniority in terms of the position now held is one criterion for a CJ and seniority in terms of years of experience on the Bench is another important consideration.

She also said other factors related to integrity, judicial temperament, a demonstration of independence, ability and competence, which are often reflected in the quality and number of judgements written, are also vital qualities.

"It must not be forgotten that it is the CJ who sets the tone in the judiciary and guides its direction. He must therefore enjoy the confidence of Malaysians, the consumers of the justice system."








Chief Justice must enjoy people's confidence - Bar Council
Thursday, 09 October 2008 06:04pm
©Bernama (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 (Bernama) -- In the absence of a judicial appointments commission in the appointment of judges, the Bar Council hopes applicable criteria representing the acceptable norms in such an appointment will guide the selection process of the position of the chief justice.

The post of chief justice becomes vacant on Oct 18.

Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, said seniority in terms of the position currently held was one criterion, and seniority in terms of the years of experience on the Bench was another important consideration.

Integrity, judicial temperament and a demonstration of independence were also vital qualities, she said.

"It must not be forgotten that it is the chief justice who sets the tone in the judiciary and guides its direction.

"He must, therefore, enjoy the confidence of Malaysians, the consumers of the justice system," she said in a statement here today.

The council and other organisations have pressed for the establishment of a judicial appointments commission in the appointment of judges, including the chief justice, to overcome among others, any hint of subjectivity.





Nur Jazlan: Dr M has no right to call us jokers
Saturday, 11 October 2008 09:03am
©New Straits Times (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been asked to put a lid on his criticisms of candidates vying for Umno's deputy presidency.

Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the youngest of the four candidates contesting for the No 2 seat, said it was unfair for the former Umno president to call them "jokers".

On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir said Nur Jazlan, along with party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib were just "jokers", while endorsing vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the post.

"He forgot that when he asked Tunku (Abdul Rahman) to resign in 1969, people, too, called him a joker."

Nur Jazlan, 42, said his candidacy symbolises the need for fresh ideas to effect positive changes in Umno, similar to what Dr Mahathir championed in the past.

"I am only offering ideas from the younger set of members on how to effect change within the party. These ideas are out of the box.

"Don't belittle the views of the young and don't make such condescending comments. What I am doing is no different from what he did in 1969 in pushing for change."

Nur Jazlan noted that Dr Mahathir had no right to call deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak "incompetent" for following the advice of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"Need we remind him that he picked (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) as DPM against the wishes of many in the party?

"What happened after that?" he asked, referring to Anwar's sacking from government in 1998.

"Najib is just being loyal... maybe he (Dr Mahathir) had forgotten a lot of things that he had done in the past."

Ali, meanwhile, refused to be drawn into the mud-slinging.

"No comment, no comment," was his reply when asked to respond to Dr Mahathir's remarks.

However, Ali said it was up to the grassroots to evaluate his performance and leadership capabilities.

He believed his experience, both in party politics and administrative matters, placed him in a good position.

Muhammad also sidestepped Dr Mahathir's remarks, saying only that he will be "the most loyal No 2 man for Najib" if elected.

"My relationship with Najib is excellent and this has been demonstrated at the various by-elections where Najib and I led the Barisan Nasional charge."











ZAID IBRAHIM THE DE FACTO MINISTER OF JUSTICE

Posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at October 8, 2008 3:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (527) | TrackBacks (0) | Previous Blog
1. I was told members of the Cabinet were very upset when Zaid Ibrahim was appointed as Minister. It was known to everyone that Zaid helped PAS to defeat the BN candidate for Kota Baru. He was sore because he did not succeed to become division head of Kota Baru and he was not chosen as BN candidate for that constituency despite being the head of a legal firm of a hundred lawyers and being also well-heeled. During the elections he was in Perth, Australia.

2. The startled party and party officials suddenly found Zaid appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department responsible for law. They were puzzled by Abdullah's choice. But then it is not so unexpected after all because he appointed another campaigner for PAS as Deputy Minister, and a man with dubious past as Senator and Minister.

3. The moment Zaid was appointed he went to town. Apparently without bothering to consult the Cabinet or the Prime Minister he publicly proposed so-called legal and judicial reforms. He proposed that judges should be appointed by a panel on which sit several members of the Bar Council. He did not think it odd that members of the bar would in the course of their work be facing the judges they appointed. I suppose he thinks that it will be alright because gratefulness is not a Malaysian value.


4. It would seem that his Cabinet colleagues were not happy with his proposal as well as his failure to inform the Cabinet about this major change. Since it is the Agong who will appoint the judges his idea might not be welcome by the Agong or the Rulers' Council.

5. In the past if the candidate was rejected by the Agong only the Prime Minister would know about it. But with Zaid's proposal rejection by the Agong can result in a public scandal.

6. The Bar Council would want to know why. If the explanation is not forthcoming then the Bar will organise a forum to debate whether their candidate can be rejected by whomever. The findings of such a debate would show that no one, absolutely no one can reject the Bar with impunity.

7. Zaid also resurrected the case of Tun Salleh Abbas. The Government then decided to award ex-gratia payments to the "unfortunate" judges although all the judges were being paid two pensions and one at least was being paid three pensions. They were obviously not starving.

8. True to the Government record of being open and transparent the amount paid is not revealed. I wonder whether the money came from Zaid's pocket or from the taxes paid by the rakyat.

9. Now of course Zaid has resigned and is aligned with the opposition over the detention under the ISA of Teresa Kok.

10. People accuse me of making wrong choices but in the case of Zaid it looks like the current PM has inherited my weakness.

11. One can afford to have principles when one is rich and does not have to depend on the small allowance of a Minister.

12. My deep respect for this one Minister who seem unconcerned about his allowances.

13. Incidentally former Minister, Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir also resigned but he did not have a very big and profitable law practice.







Zaid: Mahathir is back in power with Najib
By Leslie Lau
Consultant Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim says Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s impending rise to become Umno president and Prime Minister marks the return of “Mahathirism”.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said, will become Malaysia’s “de facto PM”, standing behind Najib.

He said the fall of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is a result of Dr Mahathir prevailing.

Zaid, who resigned recently from Abdullah's Cabinet in protest against the use of the Internal Security Act, said he did not expect Najib to continue Abdullah's reform agenda once he takes over.

"Legal and constitutional reforms make you less powerful, more accountable and less able to use the privileges of power.

"Why would someone trained and schooled by Dr Mahathir introduce reforms. Have you heard Najib speak of reforms?” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Zaid said he expects Najib's administration to be more authoritarian with more controls and restrictions compared to that of Abdullah's.

Abdullah, he said, believed in reforms, but "he did not have the stomach" to push through the changes needed.

During the interview he also responded to allegations made against him by Dr Mahathir on the latter's blog recently.

In his chedet.com blog, Dr Mahathir accused Zaid of being in Perth, Australia during the March general election, and for helping the Pas candidate win the Kota Baru constituency against the Barisan Nasional.

Dr Mahathir also criticised Zaid's move as minister to have the government institute ex-gratia payments to the judges who were sacked as a result of the 1988 judicial crisis.

Said Zaid in response: "He says I helped the Pas candidate, but the fact is Pas was going to win no matter what because of the anti-BN mood.

"He has conveniently forgotten that he actively asked the people to vote against BN to teach Abdullah a lesson."

Zaid added that Dr Mahathir would never be able to accept why ex-gratia payments were made to the judges because it reflects badly on his legacy as Prime Minister.

He said Dr Mahathir would never understand the need for reforms because, to him, "more authoritarianism is better”.

The former minister said Malaysia's political and economic uncertainties today is a result of Dr Mahathir.

He also blamed Dr Mahathir for Umno's unpopularity and lack of proper leadership.

"The truth is we have had no proper election since 1987," he said in reference to the year in which Dr Mahathir defeated Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah by a wafer-thin majority to retain the Umno presidency.

Soon after that election, Umno was declared illegal in a court case which led eventually to the 1988 judicial crisis and the sacking of judges involved in the case.

Under Dr Mahathir, the Societies Act was also subsequently amended disallowing judicial review of any political party decision.

"After the Societies Act was amended the president of Umno could do anything.

"You have destroyed the fabric of our lives as a democracy. Have you not done enough?''

Zaid said Malaysia faced an uncertain and more authoritarian future when Najib takes over.

"You had 23 years of Dr Mahathir, so let's say Najib lasts for 10 years as PM with Mahathir behind him. That means a total of 33 years under Dr Mahathir."






Refused-to-Retire Mahathir Dirtying UMNO's Rice Pot and Becoming the Nation's Pain in the A... , AgainRead here article by David Chance in Reuters

Excerpts: Read here for more

MAHATHIR PULLING THE STRINGS?

...An unseemly scramble for power around Malaysia's deputy premier Najib Razak could damage his efforts to rebuild the government.

That could damage Malaysia's chances of attracting new investment and fending off the fallout from the global financial crisis, which is set to cut demand for its exports.

Local investment bank CIMB this week cut its 2009 growth forecast to 3.0 percent from 5.0 percent.

After decades in power (read: 21 years of Mahathir's regime), corruption and nepotism have grown to plague UMNO and the entire Barisan Nasional governing coalition, alienating core Malay voters who feel they have gained little while party leaders and the elite have prospered.

Najib's possible challenger, former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, said corruption was on the rise in UMNO.

One of the first critics of Abdullah was Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister for 22 years.

It was Abdullah's decision to end some of Mahathir's expensive infrastructure projects that triggered his decision to quit UMNO and his subsequent sniping.

Now that Abdullah is going, Mahathir will return to UMNO -- and possibly his influence.

"It's not Najib that is going to rule. It's Mahathir going to pull all the strings from now on, from behind the scene," said Terence Gomez, professor at the University of Malaya.

That means Malaysia is unlikely to see big reforms under Najib of the kind that are needed to reassure investors who want issues such as lack of transparency in the judiciary addressed.

At the same time, the prosecution of bloggers and others who challenge the government is likely to rise under Najib.

A recent crackdown at has drawn criticism from human rights and journalist groups and important trading partners such as the U.S. "We are going to see a clear repression or suppression of media space," Gomez said.

Related Article

Mahathir May Return to Centre Stage

by
Baradan Kuppusamy

Excerpts: Read here for more

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s planned stepping down in March 2009 may well see a return to the authoritarian rule familiar to Malaysians during the 22-year iron rule of his predecessor Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

"Mr Najib is a carbon copy of Dr Mahathir and we fear in his rise to power a possible return of iron-fisted rule and intolerance for dissent and curbs on the political opposition," said a diplomat with a European mission, on condition of anonymity.

Critics said Najib’s rise to power would also see the return of Mahathir to political centre stage, probably as a tenured advisor to the government.

"I welcome the departure of Abdullah and am ready to give advise to the new government," Mahathir told local reporters after confirming that Abdullah was leaving.

Dr Mahathir had said last year he picked Abdullah as a "temporary substitute" to hold the seat for Najib.

"Abdullah would be remembered as a pleasant man who simply did not have the skills or the gumption to rule," said a Chinese newspaper editor who declined to be identified. " He tried to please everybody and in the end failed to please anybody."




Posted by Malaysian Unplug @ 11:03,

2 Comments:
At 10 October 2008 15:18, Yap Chong Yee said...
Mahatir had all along planned to be the pupperteer manipulating the puppets behind the scenes and that is why he chose Badawi because Pak Lah was the weskest of all the senior members of UMNO. I observed this early in Badawi's first general Election, when Badawi rejected Mahtir's offere to help Badawi in his first election. Mahatir was told not to camapign for Badawi, but Mahatir lost face from this rejection because it had dawn on him that Badawi wanted to be his own man. I believe that this was the begining of the animosity between Mahatir against Badawi.

I do not claim to know what or who Badawi is, but he has that streak of decency that is more human than what Mahatir has, but as fate would have it, Badawi lost the support of the Malaysian people and now we will see Mahatir come back into what he had originally planed and failed with Badawi and going to realise with Najib. I can only say that Malaysia will deserve the Prime Ministership of Najib.

He expanded Rm.100 million to send a man into space on the back of a Russia space craft; this is jsut so much bullshit because what is the value of such a misadvanture; Malaysia can hardly accord such stupidy and waste.

Mahatir will continue to tear the social fabric of Malaysia from where he left off. MCA, MIC & Gerakan will go on a lick the arseholes of UMNO big wigs and get rich. Back to the future. The irony of the PMship of Najib is that he will be the tool of Mahatir for his tarnished recent conduct. Najib will not be his own man.

It is tragic that Malaysians do not see the opportunity to have an Dato Seri Anwar led government because Malaysian politics has stood stock still from the first day of independance. Nothing has changed from the very first day of independance.


At 11 October 2008 06:07, Mr. X said...
Three new Polls on UMNO Elections: -
1. Who do you want as the new Youth Chief for UMNO?
2. Who do you want as the new Deputy President for UMNO?
3. Should Members of Barisan Nasional converge to form a Single MULTIRACIAL Party?
HERE - http://thexblogs.blogspot.com/









No reforms as long as Dr M is around, says Zaid
Saturday, 11 October 2008 05:34pm
©The Star (Used by permission)
by Shaila Koshy

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will not be able to institute any crucial reform as Prime Minister as long as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is around, claimed former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

“The 2004 election manifesto is history,” said Zaid who had been appointed minister specifically to work on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s promise to reform in stitutions of government, improve accountability and transparency, and strengthen the Rule of Law and independence of the Judiciary.

“Najib is smart and articulate but to change the course of Umno, he has to be brave and why would he take such a risk.

“Second, even if he wanted to, he would not be able to do it with Dr Mahathir around,” he said.

Asked whether that was because he thought Dr Mahathir was powerful or had a strong influence on Najib, Zaid - who resigned from the Cabinet recently after journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin were arrested under the Internal Security Act - said:

“He (Dr Mahathir) has a large group of friends, otherwise the Prime Minister (Abdullah) would not have been ‘thrown out’ just like he wanted.”

“Mahathirism was all control, control, control. He has a strong influence on the top Umno leaders who had to choose between doing his bidding or facing his wrath.

“So many in Umno are bound to the old, making it difficult to abandon old values and principles.

“Especially when if you allow for more democracy, you lose some control.

“I don’t see it (major reforms) happening but I hope that Najib will prove me wrong, for himself and for the country’s sake.”

On his recent comment that Najib has never talked of reforms, when asked why a deputy prime minister would need to do so when the agenda is set by the Prime Minister, he replied: “Yes, but after the Prime Minister talks, shouldn’t the deputy strengthen it with his own comments?”







Champion of Unpopular Causes
Ioannis Gatsiounis 03.10.08



By The Numbers:
48 Asian Altruists
Featured:
Coming Home

Giving in Kind
Champion of Unpopular Causes

Zaid Ibrahim




Coming Home
Heroes of Philanthropy
Education Is the Foundation
Giving in Kind
Complete Contents



Zaid Ibrahim, a Kuala Lumpur lawyer, stepped up to help the disabled. His fight for democracy is a tougher battle.

Zaid Ibrahim knows all about fighting the odds. When he was 7 and growing up in rural Malaysia, his walk each way to school took an hour. As an outspoken member of Malaysia's long-ruling, conservative United Malays National Organisation, he has run into trouble as he pushed for more human rights, judicial reform and greater democracy. So it came naturally for him to help the people facing perhaps the toughest odds in the country, the disabled.

Zaid, 57--a member of parliament and also the majority owner of Malaysia's largest law firm, the 140-lawyer Zaid Ibrahim & Co. in Kuala Lumpur--set up the Kelantan Foundation for the Disabled in 1998. Kelantan state is home to a high proportion of disabled people, he says, "9,000 officially, though I suspect it's closer to 13,000," and little was being done to help them. His law firm and political career were taking off and he was in a position to step in.

The foundation now has a full-time staff of nine and operates on $78,000 a year. It offers counseling, physiotherapy, transportation and home visits for its 2,400 clients suffering from Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness and other disabilities. Family, friends and law clients supply most of the budget, and Zaid has hosted golf tournaments and film premieres to raise funds. In months when there's not enough money to meet the operating costs, Zaid covers the rest from his pocket. Now the foundation is benefiting from his political views. The proceeds from a recent book of his essays urging UMNO to become more democratic, called In Good Faith, are going to the foundation.

The much-talked-about book is also raising awareness of the foundation. The introduction boldly draws parallels between his country and the disabled. "I am frequently moved to reflect on who is really disabled in our society and how. … In what ways might our thoughts and movements be confined?"

Zaid also has been a vocal critic of Malaysia's race-based political landscape, which has enshrined the divisions between the country's three main ethnic groups: the majority Malays, the Chinese and the Indians. "We have superficial unity," he says. "It has bred enmity. I think we need to start over." Talk like that has made Zaid an inspiration for Malaysians who wish to see the country transcend its ethnic divides.

Zaid grew up taking little for granted. Raised in a farm family outside Kota Bharu in the far northeast corner of the country, Zaid started skipping school around age 11 because he couldn't afford some of the fees. Hearing of this, the schoolmaster recommended him for a scholarship that came with a 15-ringgit monthly stipend, allowing him to continue on to secondary school. He studied law as an undergraduate and then qualified as a barrister-at-law in London.

Internal critiques of UMNO such as Zaid's are not customary. Big names who have strayed from the party line have been ignominiously ousted, even jailed. The UMNO disciplinary board felt that Zaid had offended it in 2005 and handed down a punishment. Then last month UMNO dropped him from its list of candidates in the Mar. 8 elections. But this is hardly slowing him down. "At the end of the day fear will not succeed," he says.









Zaid Ibrahim
02.27.08, 10:00 PM ET



©AP


Country: Malaysia
Age: 57


Owns the country's largest law firm, Zaid Ibrahim & Co.
Started the Kelantan Foundation for the Disabled in 1998. It serves 2,400 people suffering from Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other disabilities.









Najib faces more allegations

Posted by St Low
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 17:26


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — The attacks over the Internet on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak continue to mount.

Just days after allegations surfaced on jailed blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s website Malaysia Today over alleged interference in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder investigations, more claims have surfaced on the same website over allegedly shady defence deals.

In the latest posting entitled “Eurocopter”, a letter purportedly from Datuk Zahar Hashim, the chairman of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd, the local representatives for a Russian helicopter company, alleges irregularities in the recent award to Eurocopter for the supply of 12 new aircraft to replace the ageing Nuri fleet of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

The letter claims the award was given to Eurocopter even though it was the most expensive of all the companies which submitted tenders. Eurocopter’s bid, it is claimed, is said to be more than RM1.4 billion over that of the lowest bidder.

The letter also claims no proper evaluation was conducted by the Defence Ministry.

A Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed by a mid-ranking officer in the ministry just two days before Najib switched portfolios and moved from the Defence Ministry to the Finance Ministry last month.

It was announced last month that Eurocopter had been awarded the contract to replace the RMAF fleet with 12 new Cougar EC 725 at a cost of RM2.317 billion.

The writer of the letter posted on Malaysia Today claimed his company represents Kelowna Flightcraft Limited of Canada, which offered the RMAF the Kazan MI-172 KF at a cost of RM898 million for 12 aircraft.

The letter alleged only documentary evaluation was made before the LOI was awarded to Eurocopter.

Neither Zahar nor Mentari Services could be reached for comment.

Najib has not spoken to the press since allegations against him started surfacing on the Malaysia Today website.

Malaysia Today carried a report last Saturday detailing what it alleged was an exchange of text messages between Najib and Datuk Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the Mongolian model Altantuya.

These SMSes — if true — have raised some questions over the handling of the case and suggest that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning.

The SMS exchange, which went on from Nov 8 to Dec 2, 2006, has become great fodder for the opposition, especially since Najib is a cusp away from becoming the president of Umno and the prime minister of Malaysia.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called for a thorough investigation into all of the allegations.

Anwar and the opposition have been trying to link Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with the murder since it happened in October 2006.

Najib has furiously denied any involvement with the case, and has even sworn in a mosque that he did not know the woman.

Their nemesis has been Raja Petra. He published many reports and commentaries alleging a cover-up in the investigation of the murder. He was detained under the Internal Security Act for allegedly publishing articles which were blasphemous.

- The Malaysian Insider









Najib denies allegations of abuse, says SMS was private
By Shannon Teoh
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 - Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied any abuse of power in relation to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder investigations and the government's acquisition of 12 Eurocopter helicopters.

But he did not deny the text message exchanges between him and a lawyer at the heart of the allegations were genuine. He said the SMS exchanges were a private matter.

"Why do I need to comment? There is no abuse of power," the deputy prime minister said.

Malaysia Today carried a report detailing what it alleged was an exchange of text messages between Najib and Datuk Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda, the close associate of Najib who was eventually charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of Altantuya in 2006.

In one SMS, Najib allegedly tells the lawyer that Razak — his advisor — "will face a tentative charge but all is not lost".

Malaysia Today said this message raises some questions about Najib's role in the case. "Why did he mention "tentative" charge and that "all is not lost" for RB (Razak Baginda)? How would Najib know this before Razak was charged? These are important questions which will have ramifications, not just on this case but far beyond," a posting on the website said.

However, Najib would neither confirm nor deny that the supposed SMS exchange between him and Shafee were genuine.

"It doesn't really matter. The important thing is there is no abuse of power," he said.

"No need, no need, it is private. Whatever it is, the prime minister has said enough," he continued in the same tone.

"Why should it be of major concern? The important thing is if there is abuse of power and, if you read it carefully, there is no abuse of power, period," Najib reasoned .

On the issue of the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter deal claimed by the opposition to cost more than other tenders, he merely stated that a full explanation would be given in Parliament.

"Whatever the opposition said is not true," he said dismissively. "We will give you the facts later."






Letter questions ’shady’ chopper deal and Najib’s role
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 14, 2008

In: Politics Comment!
From Malaysiakini

Another scandal appears to be hovering over the Defence Ministry and this time it concerns the purchase of helicopters to replace the armed forces’ outdated and accident-prone fleet of Nuri aircraft.

MCPXThe issue was highlighted in two letters last week - dated Oct 7 and 9 respectively - addressed to former defence minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also deputy prime minister and finance minister.

In a five-page letter obtained by Malaysiakini, Mentari Services Sdn Bhd chairperson Capt (rtd) Zahar Hashim outlined several discrepancies and questioned the legitimacy of the deal to buy a dozen of choppers from German-French firm Eurocopter.

Among others, he stated in another letter on Oct 9 - which bore corrections to the prices stated in the first letter - that the government could have purchased same number of helicopters and save almost RM1.5 billion.

“(With) the price offered by Eurocopter for 12 units of Cougar EC-725 worth (an estimated of) RM2.3I7 billion, the government could purchase 30 Kazan-M172 (from Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd) which fulfills almost all the specifications required by the armed forces,” he said.

He said that offer from Kelowna for a dozen of similar choppers was RM898 million.

“The difference in the price offered by Eurocopter and the price offered by Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd is RM1.419 billion.”

Zahar’s Mentari Services is believed to be representing Canadian-based Kelowna Flightcraft - one of the three companies which had unsuccessfully bid for the multi-billion ringgit contract.

The other two companies which lost out to Eurocopter in clinching the contract were British-Italian’s AgustaWestland and American-owned Sikorsky, the manufacturer of the famous Black Hawk copters.

In the first letter, Zahar had quoted the statements made by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who took over the defence portfolio on Sept 17, regarding this matter.

Among others, he was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying: “We have signed the Letter of Intent (LOI) with Eurocopter. Mindef (Defence Ministry) has taken into consideration its needs and Eurocopter presented the best option among all the bidders.”

Meanwhile, the Star quoted Abdullah as stating that the ministry had considered all the necessary specifications in the helicopters before making the decision.

The deal was signed two days before Najib swapped portfolios with Abdullah.

Najib gave PM ‘inaccurate report’

However, Zahar said these statements did not reflect the reality of the situation based on the information his company and other bidders had received from ministry sources.

“We believe that you (Najib) had provided Abdullah with an inaccurate report,” he wrote.

“We have been made to understand that the evaluation process had not been completed but suddenly an order was given by a certain quarter for the LOI to be issued to Eurocopter.

“The LOI was signed by a mid-ranking official in the ministry and was dated Sept 15 - two days before you moved from the Defence Ministry to the Finance Ministry,” he added.

Zahar questioned the manner the deal was hastily sealed.

He said, according to his sources, only the evaluation of the tender documents submitted by the respective bidders has been completed.

“Physical evaluations such as inspecting the premises and factories of the bidders and conducting test flights were not carried out because permission from the upper echelon of the defence and finance ministries have not been obtained.

“Physical evaluation is more important than documentary evaluation and the personnel involved are surprised to find out that the LOI was issued without any physical evaluation,” he added.

In the letter, Zahar also mentioned that a former chief secretary of the Defence Ministry and a former deputy chief secretary of the Finance Ministry found the issuance of the LOI to be ‘rather extraordinary’.

“According to them, normally a LOI is issued upon the completion of an overall evaluation and after a committee comprising representatives from the two ministries reach a consensus that the product is the best under the allocated budget.

“They also found it ‘amazing’ that a government servant with the status of division secretary and not someone who was at least a deputy chief secretary had inked the LOI for a contract worth more than RM2 billion,” decried Zahar.

What was more ‘extraordinary’, Zahar claimed, was the ‘quick’ decision by Najib, with or without the knowledge of the prime minister, to have the contract documents prepared immediately so that the government can sign it.

Based on the information received, he said the four suppliers including Eurocopter had offered aircraft that either fully, or almost fully, meet the specifications stipulated by the ministry.

Not interested in test flights

“We do not know if representatives from (bidders) Eurocopter and AgustaWestland were called in by the evaluation team for negotiations and to provide further explanations regarding their offers, but the representatives of Kelowna and Sikorsky were never contacted at all.

“The offer to you (Najib) from our company to prepare a Kazan MI-172 to be used and tested by the armed forces for six months for free did not get any response from you. The offer by Sikorsky for a test flight of their S-92 helicopter was also not entertained,” he said.

“The manner in which the Cougar EC-725 (right) was chosen creates doubt if the ministry, under your stewardship, was truly serious, clean and trustworthy in its move to evaluate all the offers from the bidders or is there a possibility that the evaluation process was merely a gimmick while (you) had already planned from the onset to purchase the Cougar EC-725 for specific reasons

“If looked at logically, it does not make sense for the ministry to decide to purchase a helicopter worth almost RM200 million per unit without meeting the sales representatives and conducting test flights.

“Even a person who intends to buy a car worth RM1 million would ask the salesman many questions and do a test drive of two or three different brands before choosing the one which is most suitable,” he lamented.

Zahar also said that under the prevailing economic woes and with the government calling on the people to be careful with their spending, it was ironic that the government opted to purchase an expensive helicopter when there were cheaper alternatives available.

“How many development projects beneficial to the people would have to be sacrificed because of this wastage?” he asked.

Zahar also pointed out that it would be costlier to maintain the Eurocopter aircraft as opposed to the Russian-made Kazan MI-172 (left).

“As far as we know only the French armed forces own Cougar EC-725 (14 units) and this is not surprising because France has an interest in EADS, the parent company of Eurocopter,” he said, adding that the European nation could afford such expensive aircraft in its arsenal.

On the other hand, he said 12,000 Kazan MI-172 of various versions have been sold and are used by 60 countries while two of the older units have been used by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department since 1988.

‘Penny wise, pound foolish’

The retired army captain also urged government leaders to be prudent when spending the taxpayers’ money.

“In the issue of purchasing cars, the federal government had been very calculative. Apparently, Proton Perdana was sufficient for cabinet ministers and state executive councillors so there was no need to buy Mercedes Benz (as what happened in Terengganu recently).

“The manner and attitude of the government in spending public money could be described by the adage, ‘penny wise, pound foolish’,” he said.

Apart from this, Zahar also revealed that his company was made to understand that Connecticut-based Sikorsky had voiced its disappointment to the United States ambassador in Malaysia over the manner in which the government handled the tender process.

“The foreign and local business communities have the perception that the political situation in our country is in chaos and the awarding of projects and contracts are not done in a transparent or clean manner.

“After having personally witnessed how the contract to replace the Nuri helicopters was handled, it is hard not to believe the allegations that the hundreds of millions in acquisition for the ministry under your leadership are questionable. Let not the disease spread to the Finance Ministry (now under Najib) and cause a financial tsunami for the nation,” he said.

In the last paragraph of his hard-hitting letter, Zahar posed a question to the deputy premier: “If the tender evaluation process was only a comparison of brochures and tender documents, why was there a need to make it compulsory for the bidders to deposit a bank draft worth RM1 million to the government?”

Despite numerous attempts, Zahar could not be reached for comment while Najib had called off a press conference scheduled last night and did not meet with journalists in Parliament today (left).

He has sent a copy of his letters to Abdullah and the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Both letters were also posted in Malaysia Today website and a number of other blogs.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang have demanded Abdullah to reveal more information on the deal.

Anwar raised the matter in the House when debating the 2009 Budget yesterday.

Lim had earlier issued a press statement urging Abdullah to practise integrity and transparency as defence minister.

“Abdullah should make public the details of the shortlisted bids by the four aircrafts to replace the RMAF Nuri helicopters and the reason why Eurocopter’s Cougar EC-725 has been selected,” said Lim.

7 Responses to "Letter questions ’shady’ chopper deal and Najib’s role"
1 | Brian

October 14th, 2008 at 5:38 pm


Din,

In spite of this letter,Badawi has the gall to say, I quote “I don’t believe (he can’t think, let alone decide to believe) that Najib had abused his powers.If he did, how can he be my successor?(you well know Mr prime minister, he becomes your successor simply because he did)

All said and done, it might be that the specs of this copter may be superior,but to the cost benefit of RM1.5 billion is difficult to fathom and without a physical test.

The only defence he has is to call for the help of the Aid Cronies Agency by sending this letter for action. Note he also sent the letter to Badawi (but reaction from him will take time as his PA will have to explain before he can “believe”)

2 | J. D. Lovrenciear

October 14th, 2008 at 6:29 pm


Believe me, all these expose will get buried; the complainant will be removed from the public’s radar; and life goes on with new soap revelations.

Only when the DPM is forced to quit UNTILL his name gets cleared by an IMPARTIAL court can we say we are on the right track.

3 | Jong

October 14th, 2008 at 6:31 pm


PM Abdullah Badawi’s remark at yesterday’s press conference is unbelieveable and suspicious when he came to the defence of his designated successor Najib, that all those allegations against Najib in Altantuya’s murder cannot be believed and that Najib is a good person and not one to ‘abuse his powers’.

Hmmm…. didn’t his predecessor Dr M assure us that he(PM Abdullah Badawi) was a ‘Mr clean’, but was he really?

The question now is, why now? The PM has been very tight lipped all this while, regarding the availability and issuance of explosives(C.4?) in the gruesome murder and to blast off Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, so why is he now speaking up?

Is the PM pressured to clear Najib’s name now that Najib will be the next PM of Malaysia, and will it work?

4 | shrek

October 14th, 2008 at 7:15 pm


Eurocopters was chosen as the Europeans are willing to cut deals. Sikorsky is not able to cut deals due to the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act that bars US Companies from entering into any form of corrupt practise including paying commission to third parties or middlemen.

In Peru, the whole Cabinet resigned after allegations of corrupt practise by some members. It was alleged that some members had negotiated for kickbacks from Europeans companies for contracts in the lucrative oil and gas projects.

5 | Menyalak-er

October 14th, 2008 at 7:40 pm


Din,
Clearly abuse/corruption of gomen contract process. If KSU or dKSU of Mindef did not sign the LOI, then Mindef, Treasury and Auditor-General must re-examine this process.
With this expose’, there will be a lot of backtracking, denials and ban in the msm…
Jong (3) & Shrek (4) are absolutely right in their assessments.
This Frenchie addiction thing extends to the Scorpene deal and would we be amiss to mention the ‘daughter of Temujin’?
Lest we forget, the whole Francophile love affair started with mamakutty. Ongoing satire of nastiness and corruption!

6 | Tean

October 14th, 2008 at 8:00 pm


Brother Din,

To ask for the obvious is the wisdom of a fool. We are not fool but we are asking the obvious question.

7 | omarkhayyam

October 14th, 2008 at 8:08 pm


How does all this blatant abuse of power n corruption get swept under the carpet n right under our nose in broad daylight

this country will be taken to d dogs in no time ……

this rape of d nation must cum to an end or else our wifes n daughter may soon end up as maids in Vietnam n we can start finding jobs in Bangladesh

cheers






Najib Tun Razak
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Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Sri
Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak



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9th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Incumbent
Assumed office
October 31, 2004
Preceded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

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Minister of Finance of Malaysia
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 17, 2008
Preceded by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

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Minister of Defence of Malaysia
In office
October 31, 2004 – September 17, 2008
Succeeded by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

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Born 23 July 1953 (1953-07-23) (age 55)
Kuala Lipis, Pahang
Political party Barisan Nasional, UMNO
Spouse Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar (1976 - 1987)[1]
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor

Children 1. Mohd. Nizar 2. Puteri Norliza 3. Mohd. Nasifuddin 4. Nooriyana Najwa 5. Norashman Razak
Occupation Malaysian Minister, Member of Parliament
Religion Islam
Malaysia


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Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak (born July 23, 1953, in Kuala Lipis, Pahang) is a Malaysian politician, who has been the country's Deputy Prime Minister since January 7, 2004. Najib is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and is currently the Deputy President of the party.

Dato' Sri Mohd Najib is the eldest son of Tun Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, and a nephew of Tun Hussein Onn, the third PM. He was first elected to the Dewan Rakyat, representing the parliamentary constituency of Pekan, at the age of 23 in an uncontested election after the death of his father. In his career, Najib has held a variety of ministerial portfolios (the first at the age of 32), culminating in the post of Minister of Defence before being chosen as the deputy PM by Abdullah Badawi. Najib holds the title of Orang Kaya Inderapura of Pahang. He was first married to Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar; presently he is married to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. He has three sons, Nizar (born 1978), Nazifuddin and Norashman, and two daughters, Puteri Norlisa and Nooryana Najwa.

Najib had his primary and secondary education at St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He also attended Malvern College, Worcestershire, England and subsequently attended the University of Nottingham.

Contents [hide]
1 Controversies
1.1 1987 Kampung Baru rally
1.2 Claims Malaysia is an Islamic State
1.3 Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa
1.4 Alleged Hindu Practitioner
1.5 Alleged Political Conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim
1.6 Problems with National Service
1.7 Eurocopter Deal
1.8 Issue of Succession
2 Notes and references



[edit] Controversies

[edit] 1987 Kampung Baru rally
In the midst of UMNO's internal crisis in 1987, a rally by UMNO Youth led by Najib was held in Kampung Baru. Anti-Chinese sentiments were expressed openly during the rally with placard carrying slogans like "May 13 has begun", and "Soak (the kris) in Chinese blood". This precipitated existing ethnic tensions leading to fears of a repeat of inter-ethnic violence and eventually resulted in a security operation known as Operasi Lalang, where administrative detentions were made on hundreds of individuals [2].

UMNO was also declared illegal in early 1988, allowing the Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, to consolidate his power with the establishment of a new party that assumed the name of the previously banned UMNO. The newly formed party excluded those who had previously challenged Mahathir's authority within the party [3].


[edit] Claims Malaysia is an Islamic State
In keeping in line with UMNO's strategy of politicizing racial and religious issues[4], Najib declared that Malaysia has "never been secular because being secular by Western definition means separation of the Islamic principles of in the way we govern the country.”[5]


[edit] Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa
Main article: Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa
He had a close aide, Abdul Razak Baginda, who was involved in a high-profile murder case of a Mongolian woman[6], Altantuya Shaaribuu. In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra accused Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (his wife) of being one of three individuals who were present at the crime scene when Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered on Oct 19, 2006[7]. He wrote that Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Acting Colonel Aziz Buyong and his wife, Norhayati, Rosmah’s aide-de-camp, were present at the scene of the murder and that Aziz Buyong was the individual who placed C4 plastic explosive on Altantuya’s body and blew it up.[8]

Dr Shaariibuu Setev, the father of murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, has asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation into an allegation by Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin. He said the police should look seriously into the allegation by Raja Petra as it might provide them with fresh evidence.[9] In retaliation, the two people named in Raja Petra Kamarudin’s statutory declaration on June 18, Lt-Col Aziz Buyong and his wife Lt-Col Norhayati Hassan, as having been present at the murder scene of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu are suing the Malaysia Today editor for defamation. Aziz is seeking an apology from Raja Petra to be published in certain websites and newspapers, the removal of the statutory declaration from his blog and damages of RM1 million.[10]

Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal, a private investigator hired by Abdul Razak, testified in a statutory declaration that Abdul Razak had told him that Najib had had a sexual relationship with Altantuya, introduced her to Abdul Razak, and made arrangements to protect Abdul Razak from the murder trial. All mention of Najib's involvement had been removed from Balasubramaniam's testimony under police interrogation and not brought up in the murder trial [11]. Soon after Balasubramaniam made a retraction of the statutory declaration that he made on July 1 and replaced it with one that erased all traces of allegations with references to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder. There were accusations that this new statutory declaration could have been due to intimidation or inducement, and was done not of his own free will. His lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu said he was not able to get in touch with Bala despite repeated phone calls.[12] The Malaysian police said on Sunday 6 July that they have asked Interpol to help find the private investigator who has been reported missing since making explosive claims linking the deputy premier to a murder. Bala's nephew has filed a missing person's report, saying the investigator and his family had disappeared. [13] It was discovered on July 10 that Balasubramaniam's house in Taman Pelangi here has been broken into but police have yet to ascertain whether anything was stolen. Balasubramaniam is said to have taken refuge in a neighbouring country with his wife and children.[14]

On July 22, 2008 in light of the new declarations lawyer Karpal Singh filed a notice of motion to call Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and three others to testify in the trial for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. Karpal who holds a watching brief for Altantuya's family, also sought to recall private detective P. Balasubramaniam who was the first prosecution witness in the trial. Karpal also wanted all proceedings with regard to the trial to be postponed pending the disposal of his application. [15] On July 23, 2008 the High Court rejected a petition by lawyer Karpal Singh to obtain testimony from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, dealing a blow to the opposition's efforts to link Najib to the 2006 killing of translator Altantuya Shaariibuu. In rejecting the application, High Court judge Mohd Zaki said Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for victim Altantuya's family, has no locus standi or is in no position to make the application. He mentioned only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defence, have the right to do so. [16][17]

Even behind bars under ISA detention, Raja Petra's website Malaysia Today carried a report detailing allegations on an exchange of text messages between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the Altantunya. The SMSes, which went on from 8 November to 2 December, 2006 raises some questions over the handling of the murder case and suggests that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning. [18]


[edit] Alleged Hindu Practitioner
On 22 August, 2008 Datuk Seri Najib Razak publicly swore according to Islam at Masjid Jamek Guar Perahu that he never knew murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, nor had anything to do with her. The deputy prime minister said: "Even though this is not an official oath on the Quran: Wallahi, Wabillahi, Watallahi, I never knew nor had anything to do with the Mongolian woman Altantuya." [19] Raja Petra who has vowed to deny Najib a chance to be Prime Minister, put up the sworn statement on this Malaysia Today website by Thagarajoo Thangavelu who claimed to be a driver for businessman Datuk Kenneth Eswaran and formerly for politician Datuk K.S. Nallakaruppan in a posting titled "Najib: Muslim by birth, Hindu by practice". In the statutory declaration dated Aug 22 and made in Kuala Lumpur, Thagarajoo claimed Eswaran was a close friend of Najib and had brought a Hindu priest from Kerala named Mr. Ji to perform rituals regularly at the deputy prime minister's private residence in Jalan Duta and also at the official residence in Putrajaya. He also claimed that the priest had performed similar rituals before the Ijok by-election to ensure Barisan Nasional's victory and also to prevent prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from marrying Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah.[20][21]


[edit] Alleged Political Conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim
On 30 June, 2008 Najib denied any personal involvement in the alleged political conspiracy against former deputy premier Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, including a police report alleging Anwar committed sodomy against his former aide. He said the picture of his aide Khairil Anas Yusof with the alleged sodomy victim Saiful Bukhari Azlan at his office had been taken three months ago when the latter, in his capacity as a student leader, came to his office to seek a scholarship.[22] However on 1 July 2008, Najib mentioned that he met Saiful at his residence a few days before the Saiful made the police report on Anwar. Najib also said that Saiful wanted to reveal that he had been sodomised by Anwar.[23] Raja Petra, a prominent Malaysian blogger activist contended that a friend had accompanied Saiful to a meeting with Najib before charges against Anwar were made public, implying that the new charges against Anwar had been trumped up. [24] It was alledged by Federal Territory Mosque imam Ramlang Porigi that Najib's special officer Assoc Prof Khairil Annas Jusoh asked him to witness the oath-taking at the mosque on August 15 by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan that Anwar sodomised him. Ramlang was the witness at the Federal Territory Mosque in Jalan Duta on August 15 when Mohd Saiful Bukhari took an oath to demonstrate he was telling the truth when he accused Anwar of having sodomised him.[25]


[edit] Problems with National Service
The Malaysian National Service, a brainchild of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been plagued with poor management right from its inception.[26] As of May 2008, there have been 16 deaths in the Malaysian National Service.[27] Earlier in 2007, when queried by the press on these deaths, Najib was quoted as saying that "only" 14 children have died, in an attempt to minimize the bad press being received for these deaths.[28] When recently pressured by more calls to suspend the program due to the 16th death, Najib responded that it was not feasible to stop the program since "many parties are involved".[29]


[edit] Eurocopter Deal
The Malaysia Today posted an article entitled “Eurocopter” featuring a letter purportedly from Datuk Zahar Hashim, the chairman of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd, the local representatives for a Russian helicopter company with a series of allegations. The letter alleges irregularities in the recent award to Eurocopter for the supply of 12 new aircraft to replace the ageing Nuri fleet of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The letter claims the award was given to Eurocopter even though it was the most expensive of all the companies which submitted tenders. It was claimed that Eurocopter’s bid was more than RM1.4 billion over that of the lowest bidder and that there was no proper evaluation done by the Defence Ministry. A Letter of Intent was signed by a mid-ranking officer in the ministry just two days before Najib switched portfolios and moved from the Defence Ministry to the Finance Ministry.[30][31]


[edit] Issue of Succession
In many of the controversies about him, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi identified Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Razak on 6th April, 2008 as his probable successor in line with the ruling party's tradition of political succession.[32] Because of his implied involvement in the controversial Altantuya case, the court trial has gone through numerous irregularities and delays [33]. Even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir predicted that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will never allow his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over as Prime Minister. He said that although Abdullah promises that Najib would succeed him by 2010, allegations would be hurled against the deputy prime minister before then to show up his inability to take over.[34]

Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) report was lodged by veteran Selangor Umno leader Datuk Mazlan Harun in August against Najib Razak and Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi for alleged abuse of power. Mazlan had said the report was based on a letter written by Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno division head Kapt (R) Datuk Zahar Hashim which accused the two of "political corruption of the highest order." In the letter addressed to the Umno secretary-general, Zahar said the two top leaders had been campaigning to defend their positions despite asking others not to do the same, adding their actions had violated guidelines issued by party headquarters.[35] On 8 October, 2008 Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced he would step down in March 2009 paving the way for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to succeed him. However he said the onus was on Najib to win party elections set for March before he could take over.[36][37]


[edit] Notes and references
^ Rais Yatim (1987). Faces in the Corridors of Power: A Pictorial Depiction of Malaysian Personalities in Positions of Power and Authority. Pelanduk Publications, 148. ISBN 9679781763.
^ Brown, Graham K. (April 2005), Balancing the Risks of Corrective Surgery: The political economy of horizontal inequalities and the end of the New Economic Policy in Malaysia, Oxford: Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, CRISE; Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, . Retrieved on 8 December 2007
^ Khoo, Boo Teik (408). Paradoxes of Mahathirism: An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9676530921.
^ Freedom House: Country report (Malaysia, 2007 update)
^ Islam’s war on sin dims bright lights in a nation torn between cultures, Nick Meo, Kota Bharu, August 18, 2007
^ Model's murder raises explosive questions for Malaysian minister
^ Lim Kit Siang » Blog Archive » RPK’s bombshell allegation on Altantuya murder - Abdullah, Najib, Rosmah cannot remain silent
^ "Malaysian Deputy Premier’s Wife Linked to Murder", Asian Sentinel, Asian Sentinel (2008-06-23). Retrieved on 2008-06-23.
^ "Shaariibuu Wants Police To Thoroughly Investigate Raja Petra's Allegation", Bernama, Bernama (2008-06-24). Retrieved on 2008-06-24.
^ "Two sue Raja Petra over statutory declaration", Malaysia Today, Malaysia Today (2008-06-28). Retrieved on 2008-06-28.
^ Anwar Ibrahim's press statement and P. Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration on the relationship between Najib and Altantuya Anwar Ibrahim's blog, 3 July 2008.
^ "Was Bala Subramaniam's retraction due to intimidation?", TheEdge=4 July 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
^ "Malaysia seeks Interpol help to find missing investigator in murder claim", AFP=6 July 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
^ "Bala’s house broken into", TheStar=11 July 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-11.
^ "Karpal Wants Najib To Testify In Altantuya Murder Trial", Bernama, Bernama (2008-07-21). Retrieved on 2008-07-21.
^ "Malaysian High Court rejects move to summon DPM Najib to testify in court", ChannelNewsAsia, Channel News Asia (2008-07-24). Retrieved on 2008-07-24.
^ "Opposition Lawyer Loses Bid To Summon Malaysia's Deputy Leader As Murder Trial Witness", Sin Chew, SinChew (2008-07-23). Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
^ "Najib under pressure, again", The MalaysianInsider, Malaysian Insider (2008-10-11). Retrieved on 2008-10-11.
^ 'I never knew Altantuya,' swears Najib NST, 23 August 2008.
^ Battle heats up with sworn statement of Najib's "Hindu practises" Malaysia Today, 24 August 2008.
^ Battle heats up with sworn statement of Najib's 'Hindu practices' Malaysia Insider, 25 August 2008.
^ Najib denies involvement in the sodomy allegation TheEdge Daily, 30 June 2008.
^ Najib: Saiful came to see me on Sodomy Case Bernama, 3 July 2008.
^ Malaysia’s Najib Ducks a Court Appearance Asian Sentinel, 24 July 2008.
^ DPM's Special Officer Issues Denial Over Oath By Mohd Saiful Bukhari Bernama, 4 September 2008.
^ Malaysia's 3-month national service a flop? (May 4, 2004) Asia Times Online
^ Malaysian family to sue government over daughter's death during national service (May 11, 2008) International Herald Tribune
^ Government Won't Compromise On Negligence At NS Training Camps (September 06, 2007) Bernama - Malaysian National News Agency
^ NS to outsource check-ups (May 11, 2008) The New Straits Times
^ "Najib faces more allegations", TheMalaysian Insider. Retrieved on 2008-10-14.
^ "Najib denies SMS, Eurocopter allegations", Malaysia Today. Retrieved on 2008-10-14.
^ Malaysia's government blueprint for political succession grows clearer
^ "Altantuya's dad appeals to MPs for help", MalaysiaKini (28 Apr 2008). Retrieved on 2008-04-30.
^ "Najib will never become PM, says Dr M lanjiao", Malaysian Insider (10 July 2008). Retrieved on 2008-07-10.
^ "PM: No power abuse in power transition", Sun2Surf (2008-08-12).
^ Malaysia's leader to step down as party loses clout, (International Herald Tribune), October 8, 2008.
^ Badawi to step down as Malaysia's PM in March, (ABC Radio Australia), October 8, 2008.
Preceded by
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
2003- Succeeded by
incumbent
[hide]v • d • e Deputy Prime Ministers of Malaysia

Abdul Razak · Ismail Abdul Rahman · Hussein Onn · Mahathir Mohamad · Musa Hitam · Ghafar Baba · Anwar Ibrahim · Abdullah Badawi · Najib Tun Razak



Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Najib_Tun_Razak"
Categories: 1953 births | Living people | Malaysian politicians | Deputy Prime Ministers of Malaysia | Alumni of the University of Nottingham | Malaysian Muslims | Malay Malaysians | People from Pahang






Razak Baginda acquittedwww.malaysiakini.com
S Pathmawathy | October 31, 2008
The Shah Alam High Court today acquitted political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda of abetting the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

MCPXJustice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin ruled that the prosecution has failed to prove a case against Abdul Razak.

“I find there is no prima facie case for him to answer his charge. He is therefore acquitted and discharged,” said Mohd Zaki.

Abdul Razak, a close associate of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak had faced the death penalty by hanging if found guilty of abetting the 2006 murder of his former lover Altantuya, whose body was blown up with explosives in a jungle clearing.

In one of the longest hearings in Malaysia’s history, the court spent 151 days hearing testimony from 84 witnesses on whether Abdul Razak and two police officers accused of carrying out the murder should face trial.

The court however ordered chief inspector Azilah Hadri, 32 and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37 - from the elite Special Action Force (UTK) which guards the prime minister and deputy prime minister - to enter their defence to the charge of murder.

Both have elected to testify under oath and will take the stand on Nov 10.

The prosecution is expected to file an appeal against Abdul Razak’s acquittal.

Deputy public prosecutor Tun Majid Tun Hamzah said the decision could be contested.

“We will consider appealing the decision. The battle is not over yet,” he said.

On hearing that he could walk free, Abdul Razak, 48, hugged his wife and daughter from the dock while his elderly parents sat crying in the court.

“I just want to go home,” he said as he was escorted out through a huge media scrum at about 10.10am.

Altantuya’s father distraught over decision

Altantuya’s father Setev Shaariibuu, who has repeatedly criticised the handling of the case, was left distraught by the decision.

“I am not satisfied. My daughter knows only one Malaysian and it is Razak Baginda. Now my daughter is dead and Baginda is freed… the country has lost credibility in the (eyes of the) world,” he told reporters.

Karpal Singh, who represents the Altantuya’s family, said that based on the evidence Abdul Razak should have been called to defend himself against the accusations.

“They should not have acquitted him at this stage of the trial,” he said.

Najib, who is expected to be appointed premier next March when Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stands down, has vehemently denied any involvement in the case.

Top blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has repeatedly linked Najib and his wife to the murder on his popular website Malaysia Today. Raja Petra was detained since last month under the tough security law for insulting Islam.

Abdullah last month defended his deputy over new allegations that Najib interfered in the case, after Malaysia Today published an SMS text message exchange purportedly between the deputy premier and Abdul Razak’s lawyer.

Altantuya, the mother of two sons aged four and 10, was allegedly shot before her body was blown up with explosives two years ago.

Azilah and Sirul are jointly charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, at a location between Lot 12843 and Lot 16735 in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor between 10am on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am the following day.

Abdul Razak was charged with abetting them. He is a known confidante of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, having worked on government arms procurement projects while the latter was defence minister.

Anwar wishes Abdul Razak well

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, during the lunch break in his sodomy trial case, said that he wished Abdul Razak well.

“At the personal and family level, I wish Razak well. He is now back with the family, but the issue here revolves around the court procedure and the investigation (into the murder).

“There is growing perception that the investigation was not done professionally. There is a clear motive to cover up (the murder), a lot of evidence was not adduced.

“The prosecution has failed to conduct the case professionally from the beginning, changes were (also) made to the court and the judge.

“Now that there is more allegations involving DPM Najib - the SMSes and (other) evidence the public has raised a number of times - this case clearly is bigger (than just Abdul Razak).”

Anwar himself faces trial over sodomy allegations, which he says have been concocted by leading figures in the government because they fear he could use information on the Altantuya case to bring about their downfall.






Zaid says racialist social contract a 1980s Umno creation
Zaid says the racialist social contract was a product of Umno ideologues in the 1980s.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — If at all there was a social contract between the Malays and non-Malays before independence, it was the guarantee of equality and the promise of the rule of law, said former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Offering his take on an issue that has been at the core of a roiling debate in the country, he said that the more racialist social contract — which places more emphasis on Malay primacy — was a product of Umno ideologues in the 1980s.

He believed that on the eve of independence, one of the elements which gave Alliance leaders and all Malayans confidence was the knowledge that "a constitutional arrangement that accorded full respect and dignity for each and every Malayan, entrenched the rule of law and established a democratic framework for government had been put in place.''

The Federal Constitution, he noted, was crafted by brilliant jurists who understood the hearts of minds of those who would call this nation their home and whose children would call it their motherland.

"Hundreds of hours of meetings with representatives of all quarters resulted in a unique written constitution that cemented a compact between nine sultanates and former crown territories, '' he said.

This compact honoured the Malay Rulers, Islam, the special status of the Malays, and created an environment for the harmonious and equal coexistence of all communities through the guarantee of freedoms, he noted in a speech at the Lawasia conference today.

This social contract was unilaterally restructured in the 1980s by "a certain segment of the BN leadership that allowed for developments that have resulted in our current state of affairs,'' said Zaid.

"The non-Malay BN component parties were perceived by Umno to be weak and in no position to exert influence. Bandied about by Umno ideologues, the social contract took on a different, more racialist tone. The essence of its reconstructed meaning was this: that Malaya is primarily the home of the Malays, and that the non-Malays should acknowledge that primacy by showing deference to the Malays and Malay issues. Also, Malay interest and consent must be allowed to set the terms for the definition and exercise of non-Malay citizenship and political rights. This marked the advent of Ketuanan Melayu or, in English, Malay Supremacy.

"Affirmative action and special status became a matter of privilege by reference to race rather than of need and questioning of this new status quo was not to be tolerated.

"The new political philosophy in which the primacy of Malay interests was for all purposes and intents the raison d'être of government naturally led to interference with key institutions, '' he said.

He urged the Barisan Nasional government to abandon the reworked concept of the social contract and embrace "a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities in this country.''

In his speech, Zaid also touched on:

• Democracy, the rule of law and Umno

"Mukhriz Mahathir will probably be the new Umno Youth leader. In saying as he did recently that there is no need for law and judicial reforms as it will not benefit the Malays, he typifies what is perceived as the kind of Umno leader who appeals to the right wing of Malay polity.

"That he may be right is sad as it leads to the ossification of values that will only work against the interests of the party and the nation. This type of thinking may pave the way to a suggestion in the future that we may as well do away with general elections altogether as they may not be good for the Malays. We are a deeply divided nation, adrift for our having abandoned democratic traditions and the rule of law in favour of a political ideology that serves no one save those who rule.''

• The transition to democracy in Indonesia

"The majority of Indonesians have embraced democracy, religious tolerance, and religious pluralism. In addition, a vibrant civil society has initiated public discussions on the nature of democracy, the separation of religion and state, women's rights, and human rights more generally. These developments have contributed to a gradual improvement in conditions for human rights, including religious freedom, over the past few years. Since 2003, Indonesia has also overtaken Malaysia on the Reporters sans Fronteres Press Freedom Index, moving up from 110th place to 100th out of 169 countries covered. Malaysia on the other hand has dropped from 104th place to 124th place in the same period. I am not surprised. In 1999, Indonesia passed a new press law that, in repealing two previous Suharto administration laws, guaranteed free press through the introduction of crucial measures. Progress has not stopped there. On April 3 this year, Indonesia passed its Freedom of Information Act. This latest law allows Indonesia's bureaucracy to be open to public scrutiny and compels government bodies to disclose information.''

• Nation building

"We have failed miserably in dealing with complex issues of society by resorting to a political culture of promoting fear and division amongst the people. The Ketuanan Melayu model has failed. It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country. The obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine has in fact destroyed something precious in us. It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness.”

• Malays and modernity

"Dr Mahathir was right to ask that Malays embrace modernity. He fell short of what we needed by focusing on the physical aspects of modernity. He was mistaken to think all that was needed to change the Malay mindset was science and technology. He should have also promoted the values of freedom, human rights and the respect of the law.”

• The Judiciary

"The courts must act with courage to protect the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of all citizens, even if to do so were to invoke the wrath of the government of the day. In PP vs Koh Wah Kuan (2007), a majority bench of the Federal Court chose to discard the doctrine of separation of powers as underlying the Federal Constitution apparently because the doctrine is not expressly provided for in the Constitution. This conclusion is mystifying as surely the court recognises that power corrupts absolutely and can thus be abused. If the courts are not about to intervene against such excesses who is? Checks and balance are what the separation of powers is about. Surely the apex court is not saying that the courts do not play a vital role in that regard?

"The rule of law has no meaning if judges, especially apex court judges, are not prepared to enter the fray in the struggle for the preservation of human rights and the fundamental liberties. To all our judges I say discard your political leanings and philosophy. Stick to justice in accordance with the law.





Well Done, Zaid : I agree with you that UMNO’s “Ketuanan Melayu” is a failureComments:

Yes. Zaid, I agree with you “[T]he Malays…are not under seige.The institutions are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly”.

I wish to add that the Malays in general are not the problem. We are a proud and hardworking people. The concern today is that UMNO leadership is incompetent, corrupt and totally undemocratic. That leadership is now using draconian laws like the ISA to silence critics, for instance, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and others now held in Kamunting, Perak, and the Official Secrets Act and other statutes to deny the public access to information on the affairs of the country.

In order to rally the Malays back to their fold, UMNO leaders including Mukhriz Mahathir and his lot have been creating the impression that the Malays are under seige. Again, this is not true. UMNO is under seige because Ketuanan Melayu is a dismal failure.

Let us separate UMNO Malay leadership from the Malay leaders like Anwar Ibrahim and Ustaz Haji Abdul Hadi Awang and their colleagues in PKR and PAS who are an integral part of Pakatan Rakyat. They want change and have plans and programmes to make the Malays competitive and dynamic in a globalised world, while ensuring that Chinese and Indian rights under the constitution are protected. To that end, all forms of discrimination must be eliminated.

We the Malays cannot be the anchor of our nation if we are weak, incompetent and corrupt. To lead, we must be examplary in our conduct.So the Malays must realise now that UMNO is no longer relevant, that UMNO is an obstacle to Malay socio-economic development, and that we need new leadership with fresh ideas and programmes (UMNO wants more of the same failed policies)— for Malays and others so that together we can be a united and proud country where there is freedom, democracy and justice.—Din Merican

Zaid: Ketuanan Melayu has failed

October 31, 2008
The ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ model has failed, declared former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim in an incisive speech at the LawAsia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.

MCPX“It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country,” said Zaid, who criticised the race-based policy despite being a member of the ruling Umno party which was set up to safeguard Malay interests.

Zaid also noted that ‘deputy premier in waiting’ Muhyiddin Yassin had suggested the need for a closed-door forum for leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to develop a common stand, a renewed national consensus grounded on the social contract.

“This is positive step but it should include all political leaders and be premised on the social contract that was the foundation of independence,” said the lawyer by training who was made senator and subsequently minister entrusted with the task of reforming the judiciary by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi following the March 8 general election.

He quit last month in protest against the arrest of three individuals under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which provides for detention without trial.

Zaid said March 8 was a clear indicator that the ruling BN coalition no longer exclusively speaks for the people.

He also underscored the importance of promoting discourse and dialogue so that Malaysians learn to talk and to listen to one another again.”Communication and trust amongst the people must be re-established,” he said.

The former minister called on the BN government to abandon its ‘reworked’ concept of the social contract and embrace a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities.

“It is time for us all to practise a more transparent and egalitarian form of democracy and to recognise and respect the rights and dignity of all the citizens of this country.”

Mukhriz singled out for criticism

Singling out Mukhriz Mahathir for criticism, Zaid said the UMNO Youth chief aspirant typifies what is perceived as the kind of UMNO leader who appeals to the right-wing of Malay polity.

Zaid also referred to the recent remarks made by the son of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad that there was no need for law and judicial reforms as it would not benefit the Malays,

“That he may be right is sad as it leads to the ossification of values that will only work against the interests of the party and the nation,” Zaid lamented in his 16-page speech.

“This type of thinking may pave the way to a suggestion in the future that we may as well do away with general elections altogether as they may not be good for the Malays for, if the justice that a revitalised rule of law would allow for is not to the benefit of the Malays, what is? More inefficiency, more corruption and a more authoritarian style of government perhaps.

“We are a deeply divided nation, adrift for our having abandoned democratic traditions and the rule of law in favour of a political ideology that serves no one save those who rule.”

According to Zaid, the obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine has destroyed something precious in Malaysians.

“It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness. When a certain Chinese lady was appointed head of a state development corporation, having served in that corporation for 33 years, there were protests from Malay groups because she is Chinese,” he said referring to the controversy involving the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting head of the Selangor Development Cooperation (PKNS).

“A new economic vision is necessary, one that is more forward looking in outlook and guided by positive values that would serve to enhance cooperation amongst the races. This will encourage change for the better, to develop new forms of behaviour and shifts of attitudes, to believe that only economic growth will serve social equity, to aspire to a higher standard of living for all regardless of race.

“We need to meaningfully acknowledge that wealth is based on insight, sophisticated human capital and attitude change. A new dynamics focused on cooperation and competition will spur innovation and creativity.

“Some might say that this is a fantasy. I disagree. How do we go about transforming the culture and values of the bumiputeras so that their ability to create new economic wealth can be sustained?

“By changing our political and legal landscapes with freedom and democracy.”

On that note, Zaid said Mahathir was right to have asked the Malays to embrace modernity but the 82-year-old statesman fell short by only focusing on the physical aspects of modernity.

“He was mistaken to think all that was needed to change the Malay mindset was science and technology. He should have also promoted the values of freedom, human rights and the respect of the law.

“If affirmative action is truly benchmarked on the equitable sharing of wealth that is sustainable, then we must confront the truth and change our political paradigm, 40 years of discrimination and subsidy have not brought us closer. There is a huge economic dimension to the rule of law and democracy that this government must learn to appreciate.”

Conflicts of jurisdiction require resolution

Zaid conceded that relationship between Islam, the state, law and politics in Malaysia is complex.

“How do we manage legal pluralism in Malaysia? Can a cohesive united Bangsa Malaysia be built on a bifurcated foundation of Syariah and secular principles? Will non-Muslims have a say on the operation of Islamic law when it affects the general character and experience of the nation? This is a difficult challenge and the solution has to be found.”

He quoted leading Muslim legal scholar Abdullah Ahmad an-Na’im who believed that a distinction should be made between state and politics.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he noted, believes that Islam can be the mediating instrument between state and politics through the principles and institutions of constitutionalism and the protection of equal human rights of all citizens.

“Whatever the formula, we can only devise a system that rejects absolutism and tyranny and allows for freedom and plurality if we are able to first agree that discourse and dialogue is vital. Democracy and respect for the rights and dignity of all Malaysians is the prerequisite to this approach.”

Zaid stressed that the conflicts of jurisdiction in Malaysia require resolution.

The civil courts, he said, are “denuded of jurisdiction” to deal with matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Syariah court.

“No court has been given the jurisdiction and power to resolve issues that may arise in both the Syariah courts and the civil courts. The present separation of jurisdictions presupposes that matters will fall nicely into one jurisdiction or the other.

However, human affairs are never that neat. What happens to the children of a marriage where one party converts to Islam and the other party seeks recourse in the civil court? Or when the Syariah Court pronounces that a deceased person was a Muslim despite his family contesting the conversion?

“Or where the receiver of a company is restrained from dealing with a property by a Syariah Court order arising out of a family dispute?

Where do the aggrieved parties go? I had suggested the establishment of the constitutional court, but that plea has fallen on deaf ears.”

Malays not under seige

The former minister had also touched on the use of draconian measures, which according to him have seen a marked increase in dealing with political and social tensions.

“Some people say that groups such as Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) advocate violence and therefore this justifies the use of such measures. They may have overlooked the fact that violence begets violence.

“Was not the detention of Hindraf leaders under the ISA itself an act of aggression, especially to people who consider themselves marginalised and without recourse?

“It is time that the people running this country realise that we will not be able to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully if we ourselves do not value peaceful means in dealing with problems.”

Zaid argued that the situation had been aggravated by the absence of an even-handed approach in dealing with organisations such as Hindraf.

“While I applaud the prime minister for calling upon the Indian community to reject extremism, should not a similar call be made on the Malay community and (Malay daily) Utusan Malaysia?

I call on the prime minister, both the outgoing and the incoming, to deal with such issues fairly. Start by releasing the Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA. The release would create a window for constructive dialogue on underlying causes of resentment.

“I also appeal for the release of (Malaysia Today editor) Raja Petra (Kamarudin) from ISA detention. He is a champion of free speech. His writings, no matter how offensive they may be to some, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen as a threat to the national security of this country.”

The Malays, Zaid said, are now a clear majority in numbers and the fear of their being outnumbered is baseless.

“They are not under seige. The institutions of government are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly.”

www.malaysiakini.com








Acquittal set to spark more controversy
Saturday, 01 November 2008 09:21am
©The Straits Times, Singapore (Used by permission)
by Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief

• Shaariibuu, a Mongolian part-time interpreter
• KL analyst acquitted
• Duo to testify in defence

Verdict puts focus back on DPM Najib, spells fresh chapter in KL's turbulent politics

KUALA LUMPUR: Far from closing the chapter, the acquittal of his former close associate over the murder of a Mongolian beauty is set to reignite controversy surrounding Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mr Abdul Razak Baginda, a former close associate of the Deputy Premier, walked free yesterday after the High Court found no evidence that he had asked two policemen to kill his former lover after their affair went sour.

The decision has thrust Datuk Seri Najib back into an unwelcome spotlight even as he is set to take over the premiership from Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi next March.

Within minutes of the verdict, it became fresh fodder for renewed attacks on Mr Najib, who is already battling a non-stop flow of allegations of corruption.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim fired the first salvo.

'There is growing perception that the investigation was not done professionally. There is a clear motive to cover up, a lot of evidence was not adduced.

'The prosecution has failed to conduct the case professionally. From the beginning, changes were made to the court and the judge.

'Now that there are more allegations involving DPM Najib - the SMSes and evidence the public has raised a number of times - this case clearly is bigger,' Datuk Seri Anwar said.

Prominent blogger Rocky Bru wrote: 'Many will cry foul. This is going to give a lot of people a heart attack.'

But political observers believe that the storm is likely to pass quickly as, despite the repeated innuendos and allegations, no evidence has surfaced to link Mr Najib to the case.

The momentum carrying him to the top seems unstoppable as he has swept up every single nomination for the Umno presidency from the party's divisions that have met so far.

By this weekend, his lead should become unassailable.

His position will become precarious only if the Umno divisions start to nominate other contenders, but that is unlikely.

Being the sole nominee for the Umno presidency also means an unimpeded ride to Malaysia's premiership, as convention ties the two together.

'The course is clear, and I don't think it's likely to change,' said an Umno division chief from Johor, Mr Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

But public perception can be very different from Umno's as it is less tied to a sense of loyalty or dependent on patronage. And yesterday's verdict is fresh ammunition. Nevertheless, its impact may not last long without any evidence of wrongdoing.

Over the months, the opposition's attacks on Mr Najib have all petered out quickly as rhetoric can only go so far.

The case is, however, not over yet. On Nov 10, the two policemen charged will take the witness stand, and their testimony will be closely watched.

Much hinges on what they are going to say about Mr Razak's instructions to them.

Suave and polished, Mr Razak, 48, was one of Malaysia's best-known political analysts, not at least because of his close connection to Mr Najib.

In 2002, it surfaced that Mr Razak had won a RM540 million (S$226 million) contract to provide services in relation to Malaysia's purchase of two French submarines. Mr Najib was then the defence minister.

Mr Razak's links to Mr Najib quickly dragged the Deputy PM into the scandal.

During the court proceedings, a witness, Ms Burmaa Oyunchimeg, said she had seen a photograph of her cousin Ms Altantuya with Mr Razak and Mr Najib. This alleged photo, however, has yet to surface.

But the drama kept unfolding, feeding gossip despite the fact that little evidence of wrongdoing has ever come to light.

Public perception is hard to tame, and yesterday's case could open a new chapter in these turbulent times in Malaysian politics.

NOT PROFESSIONAL

'There is growing perception that the investigation was not done professionally. There is a clear motive to cover up, a lot of evidence was not adduced. The prosecution has failed to conduct the case professionally. From the beginning, changes were made to the court and the judge.'

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim


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Shaariibuu, a Mongolian part-time interpreter

RAISED in St Petersburg and educated in Beijing, Ms Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, was fluent in Russian, English, Chinese and Japanese, and worked as a part-time interpreter.

The pretty Mongolian woman had met Mr Abdul Razak Baginda, 48, who was the head of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre, at a gala party in Hong Kong in 2004. Shortly thereafter, they had an affair.

On Oct 9, 2006, Ms Altantuya arrived in Malaysia, apparently to track Mr Abdul Razak down. She went to his office and later to his home. On both occasions, she was turned away by the security guards on duty.

She was last seen on Oct 19 leaving her hotel. When she did not return to the hotel, her sister and cousin lodged a police report and later, together with Ms Altantuya's father, sought help from the Mongolian Embassy in Bangkok.

On Nov 7, the police found Ms Altantuya's bone fragments in a secondary forest in Puncak Alam, near Shah Alam. On the same day, the police picked up Mr Abdul Razak for questioning.

On Nov 16, 2006, he was charged with abetting two policemen in her murder.

The trial started in June last year, and turned into one of the longest hearings in Malaysia's history and a closely-watched one as Mr Abdul Razak is a close adviser as well as a friend of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

While Mr Abdul Razak was in the dock, allegations surfaced of official interference in the case - something Datuk Seri Najib has denied vehemently. Mr Najib has also brushed off speculation that he knew and had met Ms Altantuya.

In June this year, popular blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin said in a statutory declaration at the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Mr Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor, had witnessed the placing of plastic explosives on Ms Altantuya's body at the crime scene. But Mr Najib has called that allegation 'garbage'.

Then, in July, private investigator P. Balasubramaniam made a statutory declaration in which he claimed that Mr Najib had had an affair with Ms Altantuya. But he retracted his declaration a day later and, along with his family, went missing.

Just last month, the Malaysia Today website, run by Raja Petra, published an SMS exchange between Mr Najib and Mr Abdul Razak's then-lawyer Shafee Abdullah. Mr Najib has declined to confirm or deny the authenticity of the alleged SMS exchange.


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KL analyst acquitted

by Hazlin Hassan, Malaysia Correspondent

Judge cites insufficient evidence linking him to killing of his ex-lover

SHAH ALAM: A political analyst linked to top government figures was cleared of involvement in the gruesome murder of a Mongolian woman yesterday, in a sensational case that has gripped Malaysia for two years.

The Shah Alam High Court acquitted 48-year-old Abdul Razak Baginda - a friend of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak - of abetting the killing of 28-year-old Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Her body, shot and blown up with explosives, was found in a remote jungle near here two years ago.

Two policemen from an elite unit which guards the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have been ordered to enter their defence for the murder.

In one of the longest trials in Malaysia's history, the court spent 151 days hearing testimony from 84 witnesses.

Mr Abdul Razak faced the death penalty, but the judge ruled yesterday that there was insufficient evidence against him.

'I find there is no prima facie case for him to answer his charge. He is therefore acquitted and discharged forthwith,' said Judge Mohamed Zaki Mohamed Yasin.

On hearing the decision, Mr Abdul Razak smiled and hugged his wife and daughter, who both shed tears of joy. His mother cried out 'Alhamdullillah' or 'Thank God'.

Outside the court, the beaming political analyst would only say: 'I just want to go home.'

A horde of journalists mobbed him and his family as they made their way to their Volvo SUV, but he declined to answer questions.

The other two accused - Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37 - remained in court and appeared calm on hearing that the case against them will continue.

The dead woman's father, Mr Setev Shaariibuu, who has repeatedly criticised the handling of the case, said he was disappointed. 'My daughter is dead and Baginda is freed...the country has lost credibility in the (eyes of the) world,' he said.

The case has made headlines since Mr Abdul Razak was arrested at his office in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 7, 2006.

Although he admitted having an affair with Ms Altantuya, he vehemently denied involvement in her murder.

His links to Deputy PM Najib led to persistent allegations, especially over the Internet, that the latter had been involved in the Mongolian's death.

Mr Najib has denied all these allegations vehemently, and even swore in a mosque that he never knew the dead woman.

Deputy public prosecutor Tun Majid Tun Hamzah said the acquittal could be contested. 'We will consider appealing the decision,' he said. 'The battle is not over yet.'

Yesterday's court decision was much anticipated. Local and foreign media representatives began waiting outside the courtroom from as early as 5.30am for the ruling which began at 9am.

While Mr Abdul Razak's release was a relief to his family, analysts said it would also ease pressure on Mr Najib, who is expected to take over as prime minister in March.

Professor James Chin of Monash University Malaysia Campus said: 'The acquittal means that Datuk Seri Najib is stronger politically now. If he was found guilty, then you could have drawn a line between the two.'

But few expected yesterday's outcome to stop the speculation and murmurs of suspicion that have swirled endlessly around the case.

As some analysts noted, not all the questions raised over the past two years have been answered.

It was a trial that courted controversy on various fronts, including the several changes made to the prosecution team, the judge as well as location of the hearing.

But Mongolia's Honorary Consul in Malaysia, Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi, said there was no political interference in the High Court's decision to acquit and discharge Mr Abdul Razak.


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Duo to testify in defence

by Hazlin Hassan

TWO members of an elite police unit charged with the murder of a Mongolian woman will enter their defence when the trial reconvenes Nov 10.

Azilah Hadri, 32, and Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, stand accused of killing Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006 in a jungle in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur. Both have chosen to testify under oath in making their defence.

Judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin yesterday also dismissed applications to leave out confessions by both men.

The prosecution says Azilah had led police to the scene where Ms Altantuya was shot and her body blown up, while her jewellery was found in Sirul's apartment.

The two looked calm and composed in court yesterday, but their family members cried following the court's decision.

A teary-eyed Ms Azila Baharuddin, who is Azilah's fiancee, told The Straits Times: 'What can we do? We will have to face it. He is not guilty, so we will fight it. We still have a chance.'

She said her fiance looked 'cool' upon hearing the decision, but added she did not get a chance to speak to him.

Sirul's sister was too upset and refused to speak to reporters.

Sirul's counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they plan to call two witnesses - private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and prominent blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who is currently being held under the Internal Security Act.

Raja Petra is also currently being tried for alleged sedition over an article posted on his website alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife were involved in the murder.

Azilah's lawyer Hazman Ahmad was quoted as saying by The Sun daily that they plan to call four witnesses, including Mr Najib's aide-de-camp Musa Safri.

According to an affidavit filed by Abdul Razak Baginda, who was acquitted of abetting the murder yesterday, Mr Musa had introduced him to Azilah. If found guilty, both men face the death penalty.








http://dapmalaysia.org Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Saturday, 1st November 2008:
With acquittal of Razak Baginda in murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, even more imperative Najib should submit himself to a Royal Commission of Inquiry on all the allegations ranging from murder to corruption haunting and hounding him and Malaysia

Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin yesterday acquitted political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda of the charge of abetment in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu on October 19, 2006 on the ground that no evidence was adduced by the prosecution to contradict or challenge the exculpatory parts of Razak’s affidavit in his earlier unsuccessful bail application.

The judge said: “In the absence of the rebuttal evidence against the statements, coupled with the fact that there is no legal onus for Razak to rebut any statutory presumptions, there is clearly no reason for the statements to be ignored and rejected”.

Most Malaysians are baffled by the very technical reason for the acquittal.

While it would not be right for anyone to prejudge the guilt or innocence of any person in the murder of Altantuya, the fact of the abominable and heinous murder of the Mongolian translator, shot twice in the head in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam and blown up with C4 explosives available only to the military, setting off political, diplomatic and international reverberations that have not subsided , is a fact that cannot be extinguished.

With the acquittal of Razak Baginda in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, it is even more imperative that the Prime Minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak should submit himself to a Royal Commission of Inquiry on all the allegations ranging from murder to corruption dogging and haunting him and Malaysia.

I reiterate my call during the debate on the 2009 Budget in Parliament for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate and clear Najib of all the allegations made against him so that he could take over as the sixth Prime Minster of Malaysia next March unencumbered by the weight of grave and serious allegations against him – whether locally or internationally.

Najib had all along pleaded innocence to all the allegations. He should all the more support the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry which can more credibly and authoritatively vindicate his innocence.

If Najib is still unprepared to agree to the establishment of a full-fledged Royal Commission of Inquiry to clear him of all the allegations ranging from murder to corruption haunting and hounding him, I would expect him to make a fulsome statement in Parliament on all these allegations when he speaks in the Dewan Rakyat for the first time as Finance Minister and Prime Minister-in-waiting on Tuesday (November 4) during the government reply on the 2009 Budget debate, when he is to announce the government strategy for the country for the global financial meltdown and the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years.


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* Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor










ACA’s Black Eye Probe: What conclusions and what action?‘Black eye’ probe completed: ACA
October 31, 2008
The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), which has been tasked to probe the black-eye incident involving Anwar Ibrahim 10 years ago, has wrapped up the investigation.

MCPXAccording to Bernama, ACA chief Ahmad Said Hamdan said the agency’s prosecution department is currently studying the investigation papers.

Ahmad Said added that it was up to the agency’s prosecution department to decide when the findings of the investigation can be made public.

Anwar has accused attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and police chief Musa Hassan of manipulating evidence in an investigation into an alleged beating he received while in police custody a decade ago.

Anwar, then deputy prime minister, was arrested in 1998 and later jailed for sodomy and corruption. The sex conviction was later overturned.

In June this year, Anwar revived the black-eye controversy by filing a police report against Abdul Gani and Musa, alleging the two men of fabricating evidence over the beating.

The government subsequently ordered a probe.

Last month, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang told Parliament that the findings of the black-eye probe by Solicitor-General Idrus Harun had “implicated” Abdul Gani.

“I have come to know that the solicitor-general found the AG guilty of abusing his power to fabricate evidence against Permatang Pauh (Anwar) and Gani should resign now,” he said.

Probe done by ACA, not AG’s Chambers

However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Aziz denied that the investigation had been completed.

He said the probe was being handled by the ACA and not by the solicitor-general - the No 2 man in the Attorney-General’s Chambers. It would be improper for the Idrus to be investigating his boss, said Nazri.

Musa has since filed a defamation suit against Anwar over the allegations.

Former police chief Abdul Rahim Nor had in 2005 publicly apologised to Anwar for assaulting him in 1998 while in police custody.

His apology was part of an out-of-court settlement whereby Anwar agreed to withdraw the suit in return for an open apology and an unspecified sum in compensation.

Meanwhile, a retired senior police officer who probed the infamous ‘black eye’ incident has recently made startling claims that Abdul Gani (far left in photo) had tampered with evidence in the case.

Mat Zain Ibrahim, who had led the investigation team, made his revelations in a 18-page statement of claim in a RM30 million defamation suit that he filed against Anwar.

source:www.malaysiakini.com







A Call to Investigate Najib Tun Razak under the Sedition Act
Posted by Erin
Thursday, 08 May 2008 07:37


by V for Vernon

My fellow Malaysians,

It is indeed noteworthy that our ever-so-efficient and conscientious Polis Di-Raja Malaysia and the Attorney General's Chambers have recently demonstrated vigilance and duty in upholding the laws of the land. As such, Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin, editor of Malaysia-Today.net news portal and blog, has been charged under the Sedition Act 1948, specifically under Section 4(1)(c) related to publishing a seditious article. It is also understood that a Malaysian author, Syed Akbar Ali, was also charged for seditious comments on Malaysia-Today's website.

These two cases now are ultimately in the hands of our enlightened and impartial judiciary to determine if these two individuals are guilty. (Correct, correct, correct! I did indeed say "enlightened" and "impartial").

In the meantime, I would like to bring everyone's attention to a couple of other sections of the Sedition Act.

Under section 3(1), those acts defined as having a seditious tendency include:

3(1)(d) - to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State;
3(1)(e) - to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia;

It is widely documented that in the days preceding Operasi Lallang in October 1987, Najib Tun Razak then as the head of UMNO Youth, made a speech at a rally in Kampung Baru where he vowed to bathe his keris in the blood of Malaysian Chinese citizens. And this speech was delivered against a background of banners by UMNO Youth saying such things as "MAY 13 HAS BEGUN" and "SOAK IT WITH CHINESE BLOOD".

I would therefore like to invite my fellow Malaysians to join me in a call to the Polis Di-Raja Malaysia and the Attorney General's Chambers to investigate, without fear or favor, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and to determine if he had indeed violated the sections above of the Sedition Act. Given that the event occurred 2 decades ago, there may perhaps be a statute of limitation in effect on whether Najib can be charged, if he had indeed broken the law. Never the less, it is only right that a full and impartial investigation be carried out.

And as a separate matter as to whether Najib ends up being charged or not, it is certainly the case that such a man who can put himself into such a vile context and say such heinous things, should be deemed unfit to become the Prime Minister of a multiracial country like Malaysia.
Comments (61)
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written by Raja Chulan, May 08, 2008 07:46:38

V for Vernon

I totally support your call and why stop at Najib Razak. Let's call for the arrest of Hishamuddin Hussein and his UMNO Youth cronies under Sedition Act for the same offence.

Hishamuddin Hussein is not fit to hold the office of Minister of Education or any other public office.

Manusia Merancang Tuhan Menentukan
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written by campuras, May 08, 2008 07:49:07

I am sure somebody must have lodge a police report on the incident.
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written by *****stail, May 08, 2008 07:51:16

My God! how can our DPM say such a thing! unbelievable!!! If he said such a thing he should be charged under seditious Act no matter who or what he is now.
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written by EvilWolf, May 08, 2008 07:54:08

There are two sets of rules - One for BN and the other for the opposition.
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written by garbageman60, May 08, 2008 08:00:05

Lets start by making police reports by the thousands then see what AG does
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written by FFT, May 08, 2008 08:04:07

Ah yes, Najib was the precursor of keris antics. Now his little cousin follows abang's dirty footsteps.

Does terrorism run in their genes? I don't recall Tun Razak and Tun Hussein being such uncouth men. Najib and Kerismuddin must have genes that mutated due to the evil ingrained within UMNO (Baru).

That's right folks...the original UMNO that saw the country through Merdeka was killed and buried 20 years or so ago. This new UMNO is United Mahathir's Nationalist Organization.
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written by seek justice, May 08, 2008 08:05:02

written by EvilWolf, May 08, 2008 | 07:54:08
There are two sets of rules - One for BN and the other for the opposition.
____________________

Agreed. Actually worst, one set of rules is the ruling elite and the other is for the rakyat.

We're doomed the way the country is being left to these BN-good-for-only-making-themselves-rich morons.

I have said this in an earlier comments posting, "We are faced by seditious remarks by the ruling elite everyday of our lives via the MSM" -- thick double standards!!!
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written by cubi76, May 08, 2008 08:08:48

Yes. He indeed made such a statement, which later led to the Operasi Lallang and tens of politicians and activists got locked up under ISA, EXCEPT THE MAIN CULPRIT OUR CURRENT DPM NAJIS!

The UMNO people still live in their fantasies of the Bolehland that they are the best in everything.

Talking to anyone overseas, you will know that not only Malaysia is NOT a Bolehland, it's a laughing stock to the world.

The professors and lecturers in my university occasionally pointed to me when touching issues on corruption and racism. In one occassion when we were taking a fag break together with my professor, he even told my classmates that he thinks Malaysia is the most racist goverment in the world currently.

Malaysia is in a dire state and needs an urgent drastic changes to uphold the principle of democracy and to progress ahead.

We as Bangsa Malaysia must not see our country gets destroyed by UMNO crooks. Not in our time! Not in our generation!

Reform!


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written by Ramesh, May 08, 2008 08:08:58

Make a police report on this matter so that PDRM can investigate and take necessary action. A crime committed 20 years ago is still a crime and in this case a seditious act. Just writing about it wont do it, make a police report. A policeman made the report against RPK, hence the current situation. Make a report and lets see what happens. Also, I want our beloved goverment to charge Ah Ming and Ali under seditious act because they said in a pub the other day they want to finish me up. With the help of my beloved goverment under this act, I dont have to appear in the court and it will be bye bye to Ah Ming and Ali. This is justice for the people who walk in the corridors of power!!!! What about TDM who called our beloved PM "pembohong" among other things, how about Ali Rustam and how about the many BN ass holes in the parliment?
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written by Jivathma, May 08, 2008 08:14:47

What can we do, double standard is and always been BN/UMNO's middle name. The 'best' part is that they shamelessy do it in the open knowing nobody can do anything bout it. They don't care if they look stupid, arrogant, rude and harsh. Thankfully now with a stronger than ever opposition, they are getting some nasty bites. But it doesn't look like they are going to change anytime soon. But heck, they are going to feel the increasing wrath of the rakyat.
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written by eeyaw, May 08, 2008 08:35:58

Vernon,

Do we have pictures, video and audio of the things he uttered at the rally? If we have would be a powerful tool to make sure he won't ever be the next PM of Malaysia.

Rot in hell you scumbag!!!
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written by Ken Liew, May 08, 2008 08:56:59

Yet again, another good example of UMNO's above the LAW. UMNO has been using the COURT as a playground. They can place anyone's guilt, and free one's guilty.

And surely UMNO's Rukun Negara, Kedaulatan Undang-undang, are just rukun by mouth, not by heart.
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written by Mayor of Bangsar, May 08, 2008 09:05:35

NO. 2 - THE POT CALLING KETTLE BLACK - WHY DID NOT THE AG TAKEN ACTION - SMACKS OF SELECTIVE PROSECUTION
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written by sitiawan, May 08, 2008 09:21:06

ttp://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll267/MagicGate1/?action=view¤t=najib2.jpg[/img

[b]Who Is SEDITIOUS???[/b]
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written by sitiawan, May 08, 2008 09:25:10



Who Is SEDITIOUS???
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written by FFT, May 08, 2008 09:26:46

Dear sitiawan, allow me to fix that link for you.


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written by FFT, May 08, 2008 09:28:29


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written by blacknight220, May 08, 2008 09:32:28

Anak bangsat punya najib. Langsung tak layak jadi seorang ahli politik dalam negara yang terdiri dari berbilang bangsa & ugama. Salah guna pengaruh and kuasa untuk buat and sebut sesuka hati. Inilah trend ahli politik UMNO. Najib yang penuh dengan Najis.....cepat lah mampus engkau.
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written by sitiawan, May 08, 2008 10:13:39

Dear FFT,Thanks alot
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written by AngryTaxpayer, May 08, 2008 10:21:00

I totally 100% support this call!! Charge Najis and Kerismuddin for Sedition!....and prob 80% of UMNO leaders in the meantime...need proof? Go watch some tapings of last year's UMNO Assembly.
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written by Daryl, May 08, 2008 10:22:12

From what I see it is quite easy.

1) GO to the PDRM and file a police report
2) PDRM will go to the person that house to get statement
3) PDRM will ask that person to the court house
4) Than the judge will charge him with sedition

But

1) Of course the person must be innocent
2) A true Malaysian at heart
3) Willing to fight for justice regardless of race
4) Support the Pakatan Rakyat

Than again he failed on all the criteria abovr so sorry you cannot file the report at PDRM. PDRM usually investigate if you meet the four criteria.

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written by SJB, May 08, 2008 10:37:32

It is actually sedition not by RPK but ON RPK. Accusations hurled at "Royalty" by ruling party.

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written by MsiaCTzen, May 08, 2008 10:40:48

Somebody who has information or past data of all other sedition that past leader has made.
Gather all blogger and made a polis report against all those.

WE the Ra'ayat wants to report all sedition made by UMNO since independent 1957.


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written by Birdbrain, May 08, 2008 10:41:19

Both Najis and Kerismugface was left behind by their fathers to be prostituted by Mudhathir so that his legacy will live forever.

Today, these two prostitutes continue to prostitute more so that the legacy of the all the mafias in this whorehouse called HUMNO continued to live on!

They are all whores in this whorehouse!

Cuckoo!
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written by Democrats, May 08, 2008 10:54:45

What's the use of proof?

Pictures cannot utter his seditious words - just proof he was there at the point in time.

Video or Audio will be confiscated and deemed inadmissable under Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Witness of the scene will be called to court under sedition of trying to entice hate to the gomen, i.e. Najib.

A.G will probably postpone the case till DPM passed on.

The police will spend more time asking you where you got your info itself rather than investigate the actual crime.

We're dooomed.....

,
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written by FFT, May 08, 2008 11:07:40

Dear Democrats,

I think the point he is trying to make is that GO MAKE THE REPORT anyways!

Never mind whether anything will come out of it.

You are only as helpless as you allow yourselves to be.
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written by eeyaw, May 08, 2008 11:09:37

Democrats,

Pictures/videos are medium to tell the world that we have a racist cum murderer of a helpless Mongolian who wants to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.
If these do not do him in tell me what is more effective????
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written by little dragon, May 08, 2008 11:12:13

i believe there ought to be ample documentary evidence to prove he had indeed uttered such words. d RAKYAT now wants to know y our authorities hv not taken any action?

watmore, those alledged words sure sound like ominous death threats to me.
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written by Dominic, May 08, 2008 11:14:22

No need to go into that ! Heres the verdict. Yes,hes guilty of serious sedition and should be charged under ISA. Second, totally unsuitable to lead the nation as future PM of Malaysia. I only faham basic law and I supposed thats enough to reach the verdict ! Betul tak ?
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written by KKchan, May 08, 2008 11:50:40

Investigate AAB as well. He remarked that any person other then Jusoh as MB of Terengganu would be unconstituitional. He belittled the Sultan and/or Regent of Terengganu. He defamed them by saying they acted contrary to the Constituition. Clearly seditious. AG and PDRM when are you going to take action?
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written by Angela Ooi, May 08, 2008 12:10:24

When making seditious charges against najis & kerispuddin, do not forget to add ali rectum and his ilk. Jagoh kampong leaders all of them. Very passe in this time and age!
Raja Petra FOREVER
Justice, IF ever
Bn.. NEVER, NEVER!
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written by panca, May 08, 2008 12:54:30

Yes Sedition Act is applicable to Malaysian Abdul Najib Razak.

"He should categorically claim his rewards soon"

Who wants him to become the PM? Who? Who? Who? Can't hear?
Are we all deaf or dumb? Nobody seems to be saying anything!
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written by bukitkuda, May 08, 2008 12:56:31

In reality it is very hard for PDRM to take action as long as UMNO still the Federal government of the day. We need to change Government before we can change...the rest of the agency .EG...PDRM, ACA, SPR, JC, AG and etc.......
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written by YSL, May 08, 2008 13:08:10

I gree and support.
Let bring this najis siatan to hell................
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written by magickriver, May 08, 2008 13:11:52

Absolutely, V. Just on account of that moronic Umnoesque display in 1987 Nastyjob Rozak has already disqualified himself from high office - that's why I have never layaned da bugger, not even for a nanosecond. His hide is hornier than a rhino's, that's for sure. Anybody else would have resigned, changed his face as well as his name, and migrated to a quiet place in the Caribbean (where all the hardcore pirates come from).
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written by mountainking, May 08, 2008 13:34:32

please police, go and charge Najib. change the govt. throw umno out....if mca, mic, gerakan and the rest one to survive, walk out from UMNO and you can still have the respect from the rakyat.
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written by HARIMAU BIN ABDULLAH, May 08, 2008 13:38:41

"Curse him, castrate him and C4 him"
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written by joeawk, May 08, 2008 14:34:47

First thing first, PR form the federal govt and let the AG file a sedition charge on Najib, get the judge to convict Najib and send him to jail.

After which PR appoint a human AG and charge this doggy ag with treason, get the judge to convict the doggy and send him to jail in the abyss.

After which sack all the judge and reappoint true human judges, recommended by the judicial commissioners.
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written by kampungboy2, May 08, 2008 15:07:30

Najib's defense. "Solly, loh. I was thinking with my head below the belt, mah"
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written by pulaiman, May 08, 2008 15:24:44

THE POLICE, AG AND GOMEN ARE NOT ON THE PEOPLES SIDE. THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO US WHATEVER WE SAY OR DO .MCA OR MIC OR J .PAIRIN KITINGAN SHOULD LEAVE BARISAN AND ALLOW DSAI TO FORM THE GOMEN. THIS IS THE WISH OF THE RAKYAT. NO USE WAITING FOR NEXT ELECTION.
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written by nthpole, May 08, 2008 15:55:03

Yes I give you my full support. I think he should be charged under Sedition Act. His speech has caused a lot of damage to all malaysian. I was in NZ at that time and watched that program on NZ TV. He must be very thick to make that sort of stupid comment, totally unfit to be our future PM.
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written by turun padang, May 08, 2008 16:16:30

written by eeyaw, May 08, 2008 | 08:35:58

Vernon,

Do we have pictures, video and audio of the things he uttered at the rally? If we have would be a powerful tool to make sure he won't ever be the next PM of Malaysia.
-------------------------------------------------

eeyaw,

I bet u must be in your mid twenty.. coz that rally happen in 1987 in kampung baru, Stadium raja muda. In an event organise by Pemuda UMNO.

LOTS of PHOTOS of the event/rally came out in the local PAPERS.
especially SinChewJitPoh & TheStar.

Know what happen next?

The Star & Sinchew was BAN & taken off circulations.

100 people were arrested under ISA. (Almost all of them are PPL in PR now) to name a few will be.. Karpal Singh, Lim Senior & His Son.

Police road block was everywhere.

And to fuse off the whole thing, an army prebet took the fall (prebet ADAM)

So.. please do your research in order to be enlighten.

Cheers

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written by turun padang, May 08, 2008 16:18:14

100 people were arrested under ISA... it suppose to be HUNDRED PLUS peoples..
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written by Countach, May 08, 2008 16:27:32

Dear all the 1987 racial tension was mastermind by Mahathir.

Najis was one of the principal players.
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written by malaysian, May 08, 2008 16:27:40

Don't expect too much from the Polis Diraja UMNO or Peguam UMNO.

We have to bring this pig down ourselves.
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written by power2u, May 08, 2008 17:31:21

My,he UTTERED those words???Must print his infamous words every election on banners.
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written by glock17, May 08, 2008 17:45:41

If indeed No. 2 has said those criminally insane intructions in full view of public audience in Kg Baru in 1987 days preceeding Ops Lalat. In my 2 cents worth of imagination :-

1) It is grossly seditious dangerous (deadly) act and undermine the whole national security of this country law and justice.

2) Shouting and uttering such dangerous words towards his band of ultra blind narrow-minded ethno nationalist (supporters) is equavalent to igniting a deadly homicidal spree in this country.

3) Traumatised innocent ethnic minorities with psychologically fear if the accused someday becomes a powerful leader in the future.

The questions now lies, why wasn't preventive actions such as ISA or whatever criminal laws was NOT taken ???

Was it because the accused comes from a powerful racist political regime that whole power at that time and is immune to any kind of police action??

The goverment ought to investigate this past matter thoroughly. Public are demanding for accountability those high individuals whom walks in the corridors of power. If not, this country may rot further to the point of no return because if the dangerous acts of those power craze homicidal psycho.



Glock17
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written by TURTLEMAN, May 08, 2008 17:45:53

HEY NO.2 TAKE THE KERIS CLEAN IT ,THEN POLISH IT,THEN APPLY WITH LIMAU KASTURI AND LASTLY SOAK YOUR KERIS IN YOUR OWN ASS OK.DONT BE RACIST PLEASE.
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written by glock17, May 08, 2008 17:49:02

sorry for the grammatical error..i was writing in anger !

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written by glock17, May 08, 2008 17:54:55

No. 2....resign aje. Wang skopine dan Sakoi beratus-ratus juta dah selamat dalam bank offshore. Dosa sebegini boleh membawa padah yang amat menakutkan, sehinggakan saya hampir pengsan hanya membayangkan masa depan anda yang begity malap.

Wang beratus juta atau billion tak boleh selamatkan dosa yang begitu dasyhat terhadap seorang gadis yang tidak berdosa .

May God Have Mercy On Your Soul.

Glock17
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written by macaufan, May 08, 2008 17:57:49

as long as d corrupted umno regime is still in power, all their lap-dog AG, polis, ACA & judiciary will not dare to 'touch' them !

their lap-dogs will drag their feet in their investigation & later AG will say "CASE TUTUP ! NO CHARGE ! SO WAT?"

Rakyat & PR gonna united & finish off regime umno by this Sept !
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written by glock17, May 08, 2008 18:02:01

No. 2 ..pls learn to be humble like our Bapa Kemerdekaan Tunku Abdul Rahman.

If he knew what had happened today to that poor innocent girl from Mongolia..he would have been very sad and dissapointed with the whole Omnuputras racist regime.

Glock17
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written by Francis, May 08, 2008 19:01:42

Hishamuddin and Khairy Jamaluddin must also be charged under the sedition act.
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written by Selva, May 08, 2008 19:54:45

Yes I agree that Najib should be investigated along with all those who attended that gathering. But Gani Patail does not have balls=TDM used to hold them now Badawi is holding them in case he walks over to TDM's side. All of thgem are a bunch of useless no good fornothing asslickers-no i wonder whether calling the AG an asslicker is seditious
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written by Equal, May 09, 2008 01:47:56

What are we waiting for ?
Vote them out ASAP !
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written by FFT, May 09, 2008 02:08:01


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written by temanmu, May 09, 2008 04:23:22

For RPK's case, it will be a "buang" case... totally without merit!

The police used the wrong section issit? Or the wrong Act!

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written by michael chick, May 09, 2008 08:14:02


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written by colorsinlife, May 09, 2008 11:31:18

Why not we urge every MT readers to lodge a NEW police report.
10000 or 20000 police reports against Najib.....

Let see what happened...after that?


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written by uncleleow, May 09, 2008 21:02:23

V for Vernon,
I totally agree with you. But can you start the ball rolling by starting a signature drive which will be submit to World Court and AG. We have put up too many comment, we should start doing some thing concrete now.


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written by Vidang, May 10, 2008 18:32:22

I remember reading the Najib speech as reported in the newspapers in 1987. Perhaps someone in Malaysia can dig it up and host it in a Blog for us to read again as well as for those who were too young to remember.
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Obama And UMNO
Headline Opinion US Presidential Election 2008-11-06 16:27


Let us compare the politics of two nations - the United States and Malaysia. We are often told that we should not import "foreign influences" into our politics- but globalization renders this moot.

With his historic candidacy and extraordinary personal narrative, Senator Barack Obama - the son of a Kenyan civil servant and an anthropologist from Kansas with (in his own words) "a funny-sounding name" has upturned the Washington establishment.

Now, this mixed-race, elite-educated lawyer and first-time senator appears poised to bring renewal and hope to a country wracked by eight years of Republican misrule epitomized by George W. Bush's disastrous White House.

For all the talk of racism, Obama appears to have secured much of the support of "middle America". At the same time he's also managed to engage both America's minorities and youth- most of whom have felt marginalized from the political debate.

However, this fact appears to have escaped McCain and his strategists. They have run a campaign largely fuelled by fear: fear of the unknown and the foreign. Rather than debate on the issues and America's a rapidly imploding economy, the Republicans have run a sleazy, scare-mongering campaign, highlighting Obama's 'foreign-ness' at every opportunity.

"In this respect, I'm afraid the current slate of candidates does not inspire confidence."
Furthermore, McCain's selection of Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska as his running mate has been polarizing. Her limited personal achievements matched by her insular world views have undermined confidence in McCain's judgement. Whilst Palin has energized the Republican base, polls suggest that her selection has backfired amongst the broader voting public who are less ideological and extreme in their views.

Obama has risen with class and fortitude above the ugly attacks. His election would not only be a victory for African-Americans, but for the United States as a whole as it restores and renews its battered integrity. Still, the final decision is in the hands of ordinary Americans as the world holds its breath.

The situation in Malaysia is sadly very different. Unlike Obama, our politicians are not seeking to inject hope or even competence into public life. This is no more evident than in Umno. The ruling party (much like the Republicans) has evidently chosen to respond to electoral defeat by becoming more conservative and fearful.

Umno appears not to have realized how much corruption, inefficiency and racism have turned off Malaysian voters of all races, including the Malays. Money politics remains endemic, as the head of the Umno's Disciplinary Board; Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen has been forced to admit.

The party's ongoing rejection of genuine talent in favour of those with money and family connections is driving away young Malay professionals. This has meant that those who could do so much to revitalize Umno, are throwing their support to the more meritocratic Opposition. Even a cursory watch of the Parliamentary broadcasts will tell you that the party is suffering because of it.

Amazingly, Umno seems to feel that the mere removal of Abdullah Badawi and a return to the authoritarianism of the Mahathir years will repair the party's fortunes. In the face of calls for new politics and fresh faces it has put forward veritable political dinosaurs - men such as Rais Yatim, Rahim Thamby Chik, Syed Hamid Albar and Muhammad Taib – leaders past their prime who should really be happily retired.

At the same time I cannot understand how Mohd Khir Toyo can be a serious candidate for the Head of Umno Youth. Surely, it is inconceivable that a leader who had lost his state to the Opposition should not only be allowed to contest for a top post but even receive popular support at that.

In this respect, Umno's all-powerful divisional leaders may be the source of its problems. Their influence is disproportionate to their contributions to the nation. The fact that they can throw their support behind such low-calibre personalities suggests that they do not have our best interests at heart.

Many of the leaders who they are flocking to are also very similar to Sarah Palin in that they lack verve or experience. They may be well-regarded in the party, but what of the nation as a whole? As Malaysia seeks developed status, we shouldn't compromise with the second-rate in our politics.

In this respect, I'm afraid the current slate of candidates does not inspire confidence. Whilst leaders like Mohd Ali Rustam need to be popular with the Umno faithful, Malaysians of all races need to be comfortable with them and the sad fact is that very few are. One is not sure if these are the men and women that can revive the flagging Barisan Nasional coalition either.

The fact that Najib Tun Razak, who has now secured the Presidency of Umno was forced to backtrack from his remarks about liberalizing the NEP shows that Umno's top leadership is not all-powerful. If Umno is serious about changing itself, then the momentum must come from its grassroots.

At a campaign rally, Obama was quoted as saying "Change happens because the people demand it". Umno can only be saved if its members realize this and move past from the bad faith and blunders that have blighted it thus far. (By KARIM RASLAN/ MySinchew)

( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew ) MySinchew 2008.11.06

































Ramon Navaratnam: “Anwar Ibrahim can be a good Prime Minister”www.malaysiakini.com
by S Pathmawathy | November 8, 2008
“Anwar Ibrahim can be a good prime minister.”

This statement did not come from an opposition supporter or an Anwar sycophant - it came from a senior citizen, a respected former senior civil servant, a non-politician and a man who loves and cares for his country.

It carries more credibility when the man who said it knows Anwar personally and had worked with the Opposition Leader previously.

Ramon Navaratnam, president of Transparency International Malaysia, tells why he thinks Anwar is a good candidate on Malaysiakini tv’s ‘Uncensored’ talk show yesterday.

“Anwar is able, talented and charismatic and possesses the necessary training and experience to take up the post”.

“He was a very good finance minister, there were problems with Mahathir (former prime minister) as he had a different approach, different philosophy, and genuine differences on how to handle the 1997 crisis,” he told talk show host Francis Paul Siah.

Ramon should know the workings in the Finance Ministry as he spent more than 20 years there and had also served as the ministry’s deputy secretary-general.

He also said that Anwar was able to spread his message that he was the standard bearer for reforms in the country.

“I think Anwar is a good candidate and in this matter the people must decide. If there is more freedom, I think you will find that there will a tough fight,” said Ramon.

Asked for his thoughts of Pakatan Rakyat so far, the 73-year-old anti-graft crusader said the Pakatan coalition led by Anwar might be less corrupt in comparison to Barisan Nasional as it is a newly formed alliance.

“I may be biased. But corruption is such a great evil … the party that is new is less corrupt.UMNO, MCA and MIC has a tradition and perception that they have been significantly corrupt. Pakatan is new and we can’t be sure … but so far it appears to be cleaner and they don’t have the money anyway for money politics”.

The audacious Ramon Navaratnam, having commended the opposition leader, also described Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as an equally good choice to be prime minister.

“I have known Najib since he was a young man, he was in the civil service for a little while and I have worked under his father and I have a lot of respect for that family.

“I think he is capable, he is able, he has got talent, he has got grooming and the right background but unfortunately in recent years, rightly or wrongly, he has been under a cloud.

“So although he (Najib) has the ability and potential to be a great leader the perception of him being involved in difficult circumstances that may inhibit him or might upset people’s perception of his capabilities and capacity to lead effectively,” said Ramon.

He acknowledged that if Najib is able to resolve all those lingering doubts “he would be able to provide good strong leadership”.

Asked to compare whether Anwar or Najib would make a better prime minister, Ramon sated that “both of them have got their strength and weaknesses”.

“Najib has a track record and so does Anwar. Both have the advantage and similar experiences in being ministers of finance.It is the question of how the people want to regard them, as Anwar also has a cloud over his head”.

I do not know what to believe

Asked on the ‘difficult’ question whether he believes Anwar is guilty of his misadventures of the sexual kind, the veteran Ramon calmly replied, “I don’t know what to believe anymore”.

“I understand from friends that such practices have happened in public schools not only here but all around the world.

“Recently I find it difficult to accept it, I mean he is not a young boy or young man and he is mature. I am not sure really how much of it is real or how much of it is rhetoric,” he said.

Ramon said “we can depend on the court to make judgement” but was quick to add that he does not have enough confidence in the judicial system.

On the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Ramon said he remembers the premier to be an honest, straightforward, affable and sincere friend.

“But I’m disappointed and I have told him this but he has his own political judgement, his own sense of destiny and perspective so to speak.

“Maybe his sense of timing went wrong but I wouldn’t say he is a failure, I would say he failed us in some aspects but overall don’t forget he opened up the system.

“After 22 years of relative suppression and oppression - I don’t think you could have this programme, you couldn’t have Malaysiakini I think. So I think credit must be given where it is due, when a man is down don’t stamp on him but my criticism of him is that if he had sincerely introduced the reforms he promoted on him being elected with a tremendous mandate, if he had stepped up the pace I think he would still be able to continue to be prime minister,” said Ramon.

“If he had the strong political will and if he is able to resist the clamour of vested narrow interests he can, but I think he must have the will to bulldoze issues involving the improvement of the judiciary, anti-corruption agency, police reform and so many more.

People want change


These things can be done and there is no need for huge human or financial resources and the country can afford those things, he added.

Other issues discussed during the talk show included a brief view of the recently introduced 2009 Budget.

“I won’t say it is all that bad but I think what the government has done is to take into account the new realities.

“The people want change, the people want better distribution of wealth, more care and more allocations for the poor,” said Ramon.

He said although Malaysia has attained United Nation’s development goals, politicians must look beyond and stop comparing Malaysia with third-world countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and African nations.

“We are on the verge of becoming an industrialed country so we must have higher standards and do more to eradicate poverty and improve the education system,” said Ramon.

Citing the words of (newly elected US leader) Barack Obama, he said: “Don’t protect the rich and the mighty and the powerful but think of the man in the street”.

He also stressed that savings in expenditure could be procured by implementing open tenders.

“A high portion of our public expenditure is expended through close tenders or negotiated tenders and that’s the easiest way to get people involved in corruption.

Ramon also noted the provision of the New Economic Policy (NEP) which has been sparking flames in the political arena on and off.

“The objective of the NEP is to eradicate poverty regardless of races but it has been skewed. I was one of them who helped to draft NEP and I defend it.

“What went wrong is they ignored and neglected some (aspects) … the privileges only benefit the elite (in the Malay community).

“Poverty is at the highest proportion for the Malays. So what has the Approved Permits done for them? It has created a business class which is fine but very often corrupt and that is how you have money politics in UMNO and that’s a very serious problem.

This is because it would not only destroy UMNO but the whole country, he said.

“We have the indication of approaching a falling state and if we don’t watch it, we can fail”.

Let’s make money

Asked for his opinion why the nation’s political leaders are not able to see the problems at hand, Ramon replied, “They can’t see because they don’t have a long view of life. They are here for one year, two years, four years, eight years … and they say let’s make money”.

“I’m sorry to say and it pains me to say this but I belong to a different age group where we didn’t have this during (the leadership) of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Hussein Onn”.

On Indian-based political parties, Ramon felt that Indian-based parties like MIC, PPP and IPF should be disbanded.

“The next best move is to do away with all race-based parties including MIC”, he added.

He also suggested to MIC president S Samy Vellu to retire from the political scene gracefully.

“(Although) I doubt he will (withdraw) I think he is intelligent enough to recognise that the tide is against him … for his own sake I wish he will take this time and move and fade away.

“He will be better remembered rather than having to be pushed out… He is a nice man in many ways but sometimes in a political struggle, you lose your judgement, perspective and perception.

Closing the 36-min interview, Ramon stressed that despite all the problems, Malaysia is still a blessed country and that it should be a shining example to the world.

“Be fair, be transparent, be honest and treat everybody equally,” he said.



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Posted in Democracy, Politics
« November 8, 2008: Vox Populi (www.malaysiakini.com)Statement of Muslim Professionals Forum: Anwar Ibrahim and Raja Petra Kamaruddin »Responses
Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam is what I would call a hedger. He is polite to everybody; like a two handed economist (”on the one hand this” and “on the other” that Harry Truman would describe economist), he plays both sides.

In reality, he has been too much of an establishment person to be regarded as an impartial observer. He cannot be credible and I wonder why he is still with Transparency International–Malaysian Chapter.

By: Sewel on November 8, 2008
at 1:55 pm


Really!! everybody is clever, in this case “braver” in hindsight. Where was his voice before at the time of Matathir.Make your stand, get into the fray, join a political party to make it count. Please no fence sitters, we need the doers.

By: Brian on November 8, 2008
at 2:09 pm


He was licking that Mamakfler’s hands and feet lah, Brian! You see him talking so much on every government controlled tv(come to think of it which tv station is not govt controlled!), then in the end nothing comes out of the discussion!

By: Jong on November 8, 2008
at 4:47 pm


There’s a Chinese say, “See living beings talk living being’s language, see devil talk devil’s language” - that best describe Navaratnam very well.

By: Jong on November 8, 2008
at 4:55 pm


Din Merican,

Why do you post this and give this man who is a habitual publicity seeker the chance to air his views which are meaningless in effect. He presents himself as a self righteous person. But then what do you expect from a man who uses Dr.to his name, when he did not earn it. He was awarded a honorary (honoris causa) doctorate.

I cannot forget that as Chairman, Sunway’s CPPS, a pro-Mahathir think tank led by Dato Michael Yeoh, another person who loves to be pictured with key political figures, this Tan Sri (Dr.) Ramon dumped Dr. Lim Teck Ghee when the latter wrote a valid criticism of the NEP. Tan Sri Ramon did not even the courage to stand up for this respected researcher. He is, therefore, a self serving individual of the worst kind.

All his statements issued in the name of Transparency International–Malaysian Chapter are guarded, often leaning towards the government in power. Takut or chicken. I am told that all his colleagues in TI-Malaysian Chapter despise him, and hopefully they will throw him out as President at the next Chapter AGM.
___________
Islah, I did it because he has the right to be heard. I am disappointed that you used this opportunity to launch a personal attack on the man. What did he do to you to deserve this affront. By all means, you can disagree with him.—Din Merican

By: Mohd Islah on November 8, 2008
at 5:00 pm


“I don’t know what to believe anymore”.

Don’t !

Who said YOU need a belief?

We’ve got a Transparency International to run. You don’t have to believe in anything!

It’s about time you strip naked and let us see your buah pauh!

By: Salak on November 8, 2008
at 6:30 pm


Din,
I really don’t think any one is being personal. Its just that he has never made a public stand when it really mattered. Its good that you gave him a right to be heard,all credit to you. Now its time for us to continue our united stand to ensure a change of government, that should be our priority. Give all the support to Anwar, for the moment he is our life line. We still have the time before March 09.

thanks.



1 comment:

Baru said...

A Call to Investigate Najib Tun Razak under the Sedition Act
Posted by Erin
Thursday, 08 May 2008

by V for Vernon

My fellow Malaysians,

It is indeed noteworthy that our ever-so-efficient and conscientious Polis Di-Raja Malaysia and the Attorney General's Chambers have recently demonstrated vigilance and duty in upholding the laws of the land. As such, Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin, editor of Malaysia-Today.net news portal and blog, has been charged under the Sedition Act 1948, specifically under Section 4(1)(c) related to publishing a seditious article. It is also understood that a Malaysian author, Syed Akbar Ali, was also charged for seditious comments on Malaysia-Today's website.
These two cases now are ultimately in the hands of our enlightened and impartial judiciary to determine if these two individuals are guilty. (Correct, correct, correct! I did indeed say "enlightened" and "impartial").

In the meantime, I would like to bring everyone's attention to a couple of other sections of the Sedition Act.

Under section 3(1), those acts defined as having a seditious tendency include:

3(1)(d) - to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State;
3(1)(e) - to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia;

It is widely documented that in the days preceding Operasi Lallang in October 1987, Najib Tun Razak then as the head of UMNO Youth, made a speech at a rally in Kampung Baru where he vowed to bathe his keris in the blood of Malaysian Chinese citizens. And this speech was delivered against a background of banners by UMNO Youth saying such things as "MAY 13 HAS BEGUN" and "SOAK IT WITH CHINESE BLOOD".

I would therefore like to invite my fellow Malaysians to join me in a call to the Polis Di-Raja Malaysia and the Attorney General's Chambers to investigate, without fear or favor, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and to determine if he had indeed violated the sections above of the Sedition Act. Given that the event occurred 2 decades ago, there may perhaps be a statute of limitation in effect on whether Najib can be charged, if he had indeed broken the law. Never the less, it is only right that a full and impartial investigation be carried out.

And as a separate matter as to whether Najib ends up being charged or not, it is certainly the case that such a man who can put himself into such a vile context and say such heinous things, should be deemed unfit to become the Prime Minister of a multiracial country like Malaysia.



Website - http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/7122/1/