Thursday, October 30, 2008
Is outcome of Munawar's appeal indicative of what we can expect from Zaki Azmi...new Boss of the Malaysian Judiciary
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Is outcome of Munawar's appeal indicative of what we can expect from Zaki Azmi...new Boss of the Malaysian Judiciary
Chief Justice Zaki Azmi beginning to throw his true colours...
Will he be able to be INDEPENDENT of UMNO and his past friends, and be able to be concerned only with justice...
Will he be a progressive judge only concerned with JUSTICE - not fearful of developing the law so that justice be done...or will he just remain a tool of UMNO and his 'old friends'.
Also noted that Zaki Azmi was a businessman with involvement in a string of companies - and if so, he must recuse himself from any case involving those companies and/or related companies or even companies whereby his once fellow member of the Board of Directors or management is involved.
Hence, it is important to be open and transparent about these past liasons and relationship - and as such somewhere (possibly in the Judiciary Website or the Malaysian Bar Website), there must be information about all them different companies and persons he had such relationship, and other detailed background involvements not just of Zaki Azmi...but of all judges.
Was the throwing out of Munawar's appeal an indication of what we can expect of Zaki Azmi -- HOLD ON, let us wait and consider the reasons first before jumping into any conclusions..
The Federal Court today threw out an appeal by Munawar A Anees for his sodomy charge be remitted to the High Court so that he can argue his case.
Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, who sat with Federal Court judges Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, delivered an oral decision, stating that their written judgment would made known later. - Malaysiakini, 30/10/2008 - Court throws out Munawar's appeal
I was trying find some more information about the companies that Zaki Azmi owned or was involved in, and I came across Kim Quek's article in Asia Sentinel which was published sometime at the end of the 2007. It makes me wonder whether the removal of Zaki Azmi as Chief Justice may have become the most important judicial reform that we may need...
The PM may have wanted his as Chief Justice. The Conference of Rulers may have wanted him as the Chief Justice. But, for the sake of the Malaysian Judiciary, I would have expected any good independent person to have declined the appointment. Zaki Azmi did not and today is the Chief Justice of Malaya. So, do not come and say that he did not have a say in the matter...
As the scandal-ridden Ahmad Fairuz exits as Chief Justice, another dubious candidate is poised to take his place.
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s sudden announcement of the appointment of Zaki Azmi to the second highest post in the judiciary — President of the Court of Appeal — must have jolted and dismayed many who have cherished hopes of judicial reforms following the reluctant retirement of Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim.
After all, Zaki Azmi, who had not spent a single day as a judge in the court of appeal or the high court, was parachuted to the nation’s highest court — the Federal Court — only three months ago. He has not even warmed his seat as a judge, and yet he now looks poised to succeed Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad five months from now when Hamid retires in April 2008 upon reaching 66 years of age. Both Zaki’s and Hamid’s appointments were simultaneously announced by the Prime Minister on Dec 5.
In fact, when Zaki was appointed a Federal Court judge in September, he was instantly recognized at home and abroad as the person planted to the highest court to succeed Fairuz, whose request for a six month extension of service beyond his mandatory retirement on Oct 31 was not accepted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Such instant recognition of Zaki’s mission came from his deep involvement with UMNO as a key party player. He was chairman of the party’s election committee, deputy chairman of its disciplinary board of appeal, party legal adviser etc.
As UMNO’s legal man, he was involved with the party’s myriad scandalous financial misadventures that were bailed out by the government in the heydays of former Prime Minister Mahathir’s crony-capitalism during the last Asian financial crisis. One prominent example is the RM 3 billion loan scam in the disastrous acquisition of Philippines’ National Steel Corp. (NS) by UMNO’s financial proxy Halim Saad. When the shares of NS became scrap, four top Malaysian banks were made to stomach the entire RM 3 billion losses. And Zaki was then adirector of the investment vehicle — Hottick Investment Ltd of Hong Kong — which borrowed the RM 3 billion and embarked on the acquisition of NS.
Apart from acting as UMNO’s nominee, Zaki also has held directorship in scores of major companies including some of the most well known names such as Berjaya, Metacorp, Pan Global, SP Setia, Malaysia Airports,Hume, Matsushita Electric, Pharmaniaga etc. Zaki was reported by Bernama on 21 April 2007 to have said that his 58% owned Emrail SdnBhd, a railway specialist company, had only the government as employer, and that he was earnestly soliciting contracts in the northern and southern portions of the double-tracking project to turn the cash-strapped Emrail around.
Such apolitical and business background would already have made him a poor candidate for any judicial appointment, Zaki is battered by yet another serious handicap — the question of his moral integrity arising from his controversial marriage and divorce from his second wife Nor Hayati Yahaya, who was half his age.
Zaki married Nor Hayati in a ceremony conducted by a minister from Thailand in a textile shop in Perlis in March 2005. They separated three months later. In the messy divorce that ensued, it was revealed that Zaki burned the original marriage certificate to hide the marriage from his first wife. Further, the marriage was ruled by the Syarah court as illegal.
Following the revelation of Zaki’s marital trouble, he resigned as deputy chairman of UMNO’s disciplinary board, for which he told the press: “Considering that members of the disciplinary board are of the highest integrity, I have made this decision following reports in the media …”
The question we must ask now is: If Zaki is morally unfit to serve in UMNO’s disciplinary board, how could he be considered morally fit to be a federal court judge, not to mention his lightning elevation to the No.2 position, and anticipated imminent rise to the top job in the judiciary?
Is this country so poor in legal talent and integrity that we have no choice but to appoint some one so glaringly unsuited for such important judicial position arising from his multiple conflicts of interests and questionable integrity? If not, then why did the Prime Minister make such a move? If it is not to advance the Prime Minister’s and UMNO’s interests, then what motivated such an appointment?
We have already seen in the infamous Lingam video clip how the former Chief Justice betrayed his oath of allegiance to the country and the Constitution by crawling to serve the parochial interests of his political and business masters, thus confirming the common knowledge of the depth of degradation our judiciary has sunk. While the Prime Minister and his cabinet is still dilly-dallying over the appointment of a proper royal commission of inquiry to probe into the Lingam tape scandal almost three months after its public display, are we now made to swallow another UMNO atrocity – the instant elevation of an UMNO stalwart in the nation’s highest court?
However,in the midst of despair over UMNO’s latest move, we detect something amiss in the prime minister’s announcement of this dual appointment (Hamid and Zaki). While the PM claimed that upon his advice these appointments were assented to by the king after consultation with the Council of Rulers, no effective date had been decided for Zaki’s appointment, while Hamid’s was fixed on Nov 1 — the day he started duty as Acting Chief Justice. Neither had any date been decided for the handing over of the appointment letters. If these dates had not been decided, why was PM in such a hurry to make an incomplete announcement?
Knowing that the King and the Council of Rulers had previously declined to accept nominees deemed inappropriate fill the vacancies of the President of Court of Appeal and Chief Judge of Malaya respectively, as well as having turned down Fairuz’ request to continue as chief justice, the suddenness of PM’s claim of royal assent — particularly in reference to Zaki’s controversial promotion — came as a surprise to many people. Did the king also assent to Zaki’s appointment? If so, why couldn’t Zaki’s date of appointment be also decided alongside with Hamid’s? Or was there a problem of royal assent?
Whatever the case may be in regards to Zaki’s appointment, it is pertinent to take serious note of the view expressed by the Sultan of Perak, Raja Azlan Shah, on public perception of judicial impartiality in his opening address to the 14th Malaysian Law Conference on October 29.
Raja Azlan Shah, one of the most illustrious Lord Presidents of Malaysia, said that the judiciary loses its value and service to the community if there is no public confidence in its decision-making. And the principal quality in judiciary is “impartiality”, which exists in two senses — the reality of impartiality and the appearance of impartiality. Of these two, the appearance of impartiality is the more important, the sultan said.
Taking cue from this observation, Zaki’s appointment is an unmitigated disaster, as even if he has the superhuman capability to totally severe his umbilical cord to the ruling party and his commercial interests to eliminate conflict of interests, there is still the insurmountable problem of public perception. With Zaki’s questionable background, there is no way he can command complete public confidence, particularly when the interests of UMNO or his businesses are involved.
Coming at a time when Malaysia’s competitiveness is fast losing ground,which has been contributed in no small way by its worsening judiciary image, such a daring raid on the sanctimonious ground of neutrality as the judiciary through planting a party stalwart to take over its control is destined to bring ruinous consequences to this country. Not even in the height of Mahathir’s autocracy would such a reckless adventure be contemplated.
Knowing UMNO’s arrogance and supreme confidence over its political hegemony, we do not think that it is open to advice from the public. We therefore earnestly appeal to the king and the Rulers to exert their benevolent influence empowered by the Constitution to protect our judiciary from further injury, as they have so valiantly done in the recent past.
Kim Quek comments regularly on Malaysian affairs. - Asia Sentinel, 7/12/2007 Malaysia's Judiciary: Here We Go Again
Would the most important Judicial Reform that the country require be the removal of Zaki Azmi as the Head of the Judiciary?
For me, one of the biggest problem is the shortage of judges and courts in Malaysia - and that is one major problem that has to be addressed immediately...Extreme pressure to speed-up matters are now resulting in courts striking off cases for technical reasons, etc - justice is not being done. Numbers and statistics is what most judges and courts have become concerned about --- not Justice..
In my earlier posts, I have discussed the kind of reforms that our Judiciary needs...
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave the indication that he was for Judicial Reforms - but alas his choice of the new Head of Judiciary makes us question whether his 'reforms' is anything like the kind of reforms that we are talking about.
Federal Court chief registrar Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat (as reported in New Straits Times, 20/9/2006), disclosed that the number of judges in the country was low compared with other Commonwealth nations. He was quoted as saying that the Malaysian ratio is "2.4 judges to a million people - a far cry from the ratio in India (10.5), Australia (57.1), Britain (50.1) and Canada (75)."
This really is the problem for the backlog and the delays in our courts, and the only solution is to increase the number of judges and courts in the country. Our population has increased, and grown in consciousness about legal rights and human rights. The number of lawyers has also increased to more than 12,000 in Peninsular Malaysia, and so too has the number of new law graduates coming out every year. Alas, the number of courts and judges have not increased at the same rate, and that is where the real problem lies.
What we need is to have more courts and more judges.- Charles Hector Blog
Zaki vows to get tough on errant judges
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 06:08pm
• Incompetent judges should opt out - Chief Justice
• Chief Justice warns dishonest group
©The Star (Used by permission)
by Sim Leoi Leoi
PUTRAJAYA: Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi has vowed to get tough on errant judges, whom he accuses of besmirching the image and reputation of the judiciary.
Zaki, who replaced Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad as the country’s top judge, said such errant judges should consider leaving the judiciary.
“I will not hesitate to take tough and drastic action against this small group (of judges) if the occasion calls for it. And for those in the practice of toadying, I say ‘stop it’.
“This small group have failed to fulfil their responsibilities and have affected the image of our institution. If they are being dishonest, they are also being irresponsible,” he said in his first speech following his appointment at the Palace of Justice here yesterday.
At the same ceremony, Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Datuk Arifin Zakaria were also elevated to Court of Appeal President and Chief Judge of Malaya respectively.1
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin handed over the instruments of appointment to the new Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Appeals Court president and Chief Judge of Malaya, at Istana Negara in Kuala LumpurQuoting from English judge Sir Robert Peel’s speech in a case in 1834, Zaki said “such gross and grievous neglect of duty would warrant a removal from the Bench.”
Zaki said judges should remind themselves that their salaries were derived from taxes and that if they ever felt they could not live up to giving the best service possible to the people, they had the choice to quit.
“We must remember that public interest is above all else. If we choose to remain within the institution, then we must give our best,” he said.
Zaki also vowed to reduce the backlog of court cases, adding that his “rough and direct” method in his previous tenure as the President of Court of Appeal had worked tremendously towards resolving similar problems there.
“The problems faced by the judiciary are huge. Besides the perception of corruption – even if there is any – the judges need to overcome the backlog of cases and delay. People are denied justice.
“I, together with the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of Malaya and other Sabah and Sarawak judges are determined to overcome these problems and enhance the delivery system,” he said.
Zaki promised that those who were hardworking and carried out their duties devoutly, he would ensure that their work was recognised.
“Prove that you deserve to be rewarded and I will fight for you,” he said.
Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said Zaki’s speech was positive and that the council would give him a chance to prove himself.
She said it was good to hear that Zaki had vowed tough action against errant judges.
Zaki shows he means business
Thursday, 30 October 2008 09:16am
©New Straits Times (Used by permission)
by Koh Lay Chin and David Yeow
• Top judge in a rare moment
• Bar Council lauds pledge against errant judges
PUTRAJAYA: The country's new chief justice got off to a no-nonsense start with tough talk and a steely warning to his fellow judges.
In his maiden speech after taking office as Malaysia's 12th chief justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi took 20 minutes to remind the judiciary about its responsibilities, the need for improvement, and to insist that errant judges had no place under his watch.
"I will not hesitate to take strict and drastic action against the errant few if the situation requires me to do so."
He also effectively showed the door to judges who were not up to the task, saying that they should quit as only those who chose to stay and give their best were welcome.
Speaking at his appointment ceremony at the Palace of Justice yesterday, he took to task a few who he said had tarnished the judiciary's reputation with their dishonesty and irresponsibility.
He threatened errant judges with stern action and swift removal if they continued in their ways.
Driving home his point, Zaki quoted Sir Robert Peel, the 19th-century British prime minister, who had said that "gross and grievous neglect of duty would warrant a removal from the bench".
The former Court of Appeal president's speech was punctuated with firm refrains, with reminders that he was "rough and direct" in his duties, that he was "vocal" and that judges who truly proved themselves would not see their efforts go to waste.
"Prove that you deserve to be rewarded, and I will fight for you," he said, adding that the practice of apple-polishing among judges must stop.
The former Umno legal adviser did not address concerns about his close ties with the party but his reaction to questions from reporters after the speech were pointed.
Asked about the delayed judicial review on the arrest of the "Hindraf Five" caused by a lack of written judgment by the Federal Court, he said he was "not a politician and don't make comments on things like that".
The ceremony also saw the swearing-in of the new president of the Court of Appeal, Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, and new Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Ariffin Zakaria, witnessed by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram and High Court judge Datuk T. Selventhiranathan respectively.
Also present at the event was Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum.
Earlier, Zaki started his speech by thanking his predecessor, former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad.
He went on to talk about improvements that had taken place in the Court of Appeals when he was its head, urging his successor to continue improving the system.
"Besides the perception that the judiciary has been corrupted, even if that was the case, the bigger task that has to be faced is to clear the backlog of cases and the delays in resolving them.
"There is no justice for the people if their cases are delayed," he said, adding that he would endeavour to resolve this together with Alauddin, Ariffin and Richard.
The new chief justice also spoke of the judiciary as a machine, reminding its members that without the efficiency and function of its separate parts, the machine as a whole would fall apart.
He also urged his fellow judges to soldier on together for the good of the institution.
(From left) Former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi, Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Ariffin Zakaria, former judge Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor and President of the Court of Appeal Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff sharing a light moment during the chief justice’s appointment ceremony at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya yesterday.
Top judge in a rare moment
PUTRAJAYA: He may be stern, resolute and serious about his role in the judiciary, but Tan Sri Zaki Azmi yesterday melted into affectionate words and smiles when talking about his family.
The new chief justice spent several minutes in his speech appreciating his family, especially his late father Tun Azmi Mohamed, who served in the same position (as Lord President) from 1966 to 1974.
"I wish my late father was still with us today. He would be extremely proud of me."
In one of the rare moments in his speech where he smiled and laughed, Zaki pointed out his son, Razif, in the crowd, who was present with his wife, Louise Needham. Both were visiting from London, where they are practising barristers, he said proudly.
At this juncture, he broke from his text and spoke in English for his daughter-in-law's benefit.
He also thanked his wife Nik Salina Mohd Zain and sons for their support, relating humorously that his two younger sons Azri Azmi and Azfar Azmi were not present because they were busy with their weekly football training.
Bar Council lauds pledge against errant judges
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan was impressed by newly-appointed Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi's maiden speech yesterday.
Speaking after Zaki's appointment ceremony at the Palace of Justice yesterday, Ambiga said his address promising stern and swift action against errant judges was "a no-nonsense and tough speech".
"I thought that it was a good speech. It was a tough speech about judges and how he (Zaki) would take action against errant judges. It was good to hear that."
In his speech, Zaki warned errant judges to either shape up or ship out, stating that he was known to be "rough and direct" as a Court of Appeal President and would continue to be the same as Chief Justice.
Zaki also pledged to reduce backlogged cases and improve the administrative efficiency.
Asked if it was acceptable for Zaki to have ties with a leading political party, Ambiga laughed and said that the public would just have to wait and see.
"I think we have to see what happens. We have to give him a chance first," she said,
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 like 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 as Malays 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.”
Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
Congrats, Zaid, You have acted In Good Faith: This is the beginning of the …
Posted in Democracy, Judiciary, Politics
« The Prime Minister and His Deputy must be made to face a Royal Commission of InquiryResponses
This speech of Zaid’s deserves to be heralded on every thinking person’s blog - it marks a watershed in the final unraveling of Umno because its only raison d’etre is “Ketuanan Melayu” - which actually serves only as a cover for corrupt & criminal misdeeds at all levels.
Karpal claims he has audio recording of what CJ said
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18, 2008) : DAP chairman Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) says he is in possesion of an audio recording of what what Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi said in Kuching, and subsequently reported by the New Straits Times (NST) on Nov 8 under the heading "Stop it now, corrupt court staff warned".
The report quoted Zaki as saying :"It took me six months to be nice, to bribe each and every individual to get back into their good books before our files were being attended to".
Zaki subsequently denied what was reported and a clarification was carried in the NST on Nov 9.
Zaki’s clarification, published in NST on Nov 9, said: "Your reporter must have interpreted what I said, which is during that period, there was corruption in order to get things done at the court registry, as I myself having done it. I have never in my life bribed or received any bribe."
Karpal urged Zaki to step down from the judiciary's top post for making the statement in Kuching, Sarawak on Nov 7.
"Rest assured, there is an audio recording of what Zaki said," said Karpal.
Karpal gave Zaki seven days to step down, failing which he will move a motion against Zaki under Article 127 of the Federal Constitution for having misled the country with his clarification.
He said he was speaking in his capacity as chairman of the parliamentary caucus on the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary and urged members of the Barisan Nasional backbenchers club to forward the names of those interested in joining the caucus to make it more representative.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Attorney General's Profile
The Honourable Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was appointed as the eighth Attorney General of Malaysia on 1 January 2002.
His illustrious career began on 15 April 1980 with his appointment as a Deputy Public Prosecutor in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
In 1985, he was appointed as the Senior Federal Counsel for Sabah and held this post until his appointment as the Head of the Prosecution Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers on 16 January 1994.
His next appointments were as the Head of the Advisory and International Division in 1995 and the Commissioner of Law Revision in 1997. He was then appointed to a second tour of duty as the Head of the Prosecution Division in 2000.
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail graduated from University Malaya (LLB. Hons.) in 1979. He was born on 6 October 1955 and is married to Puan Sri Maimon bt. Datuk Hj. Ariff.
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail
Awards Received Bodies and Committees
1. Conferred the Kesatria Mangku Negara (KMN) : 14 April 1993
2. Conferred the Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perlis (DPMP) which carries the title Dato’
: 01 July 1995
3. Conferred the Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu (PGDK) which carries the title Dato’
: 16 September 2001
4. Conferred the Seri Panglima Darjah Kinabalu (SPDK) which carries the title Datuk Seri Panglima
: 16 September 2002
5. Conferred the Ahli Yang Pertama (Seri Paduka) bagi Darjah Kebesaran Jiwa Mahkota Kelantan Yang Amat Mulia (SJMK) which carries the title Dato’
: 30 March 2003
6. Conferred the Pingat Setia Mahkota (PSM) which carries the title Tan Sri : 07 June 2003
7. Conferred the Darjah Kebesaran Datuk Setia Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (SSIS) which carries the title Datuk Setia : 13 December 2003
8. Conferred the Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM) which carries the title Datuk Seri : 09 October 2004
9. Conferred the Panglima Mangku Negara (PMN) which carries the title Tan Sri
: 04 June 2005
10. Conferred the Darjah Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (SSAP) which carried the title Datuk Seri : 24 October 2005
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail is the Chairman of Malaysian Kuwaiti Investment , Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysian and the National Higher Education Council.
He is also a member of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, Pardons Board of States in the Federation and the Federal Territories, Management Board of the Judicial and Legal Training Institute, Advisory Panel, Central Bank of Malaysia, Cabinet Committee of the Reorganisation of Mimos and a member of the Board of
Game’s Up, Gani, Time To Go!
Lady Justice haunts and hounds Bolehland’s Attorney-General (AG) Abdul Gani Patail over his hidden hand in Anwar Ibrahim’s trials 10 years ago. The skeletons in his cupboard hang out. He can no longer hide behind the skirt of the Executive. The naked truth has caught up with him.
The latest expose on the AG having abused his power to fabricate evidence in Anwar’s trials was made by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament yesterday (Malaysiakini, 15.10.08). The veteran politician likened Gani to a “criminal” and demanded that he “resign immediately”.
Quoting unnamed sources, Kit Siang said that he understands that solicitor-general Idrus Harun had carried out an investigation into the claims (in a police report filed by Anwar) in July and “has concluded that the AG had indeed abused his power to fabricate evidence” against Anwar.
Several days before Kit Siang’s revelation, the public got to hear the startling claims by Mat Zain Ibrahim, a retired senior police officer who probed the infamous “black eye” incident involving Anwar in 1998, on Gani having allegedly tampered with evidence in the case (Malaysiakini, 10.10.08).
In a set of court documents Mat Zain Ibrahim implied that the actions of Gani, then a senior deputy public prosecutor, had delayed the investigation process and concealed facts from the then AG, the late Mohtar Abdullah.
Mat Zain’s claims were first made public during Anwar’s current sodomy trial in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court . Anwar’s lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah had read out the document in court during submissions on why Gani should not be involved in any aspect of the sodomy case.
(So serious were Mat Zain’s allegations that Sessions judge SM Komathy Suppiah ruled that the details, which were read out in court, were admissible in the ongoing proceedings of Anwar’s sodomy trial. She also lifted an initial gag order that prevented the media from publishing the details.)
Clear & Consistent Allegations
The above allegations are very “consistent” with the serious allegations of prosecutorial impropriety and the obstruction of justice, made against Gani Patail in the past, particularly during Anwar’s corruption case and the related Zainur Zakaria contempt case.
Zainur was sentenced to three months’ jail by High Court judge Augustine Paul on 30 Nov. 1998 for contempt of court when he made an application on Anwar’s behalf to stop Gani and Azahar Mohamad (then senior prosecutors) from further prosecuting in Anwar’s corruption case.
Anwar’s application was based on a statutory declaration made by lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon and a letter he wrote to the then AG accusing Gani and Azahar of threatening his client, S. Nallakaruppan, and asking the latter to fabricate evidence against Anwar.
Manjit did not mince his words: “I was shocked that Dato Gani even had the gall to make such a suggestion to me. He obviously does not know me. I do not approve of such extraction of evidence against ANYONE, not even, or should I say least of all, a beggar picked up off the streets.
“A man’s life, or for that matter even his freedom, is not a tool for prosecution agencies to use as a bargaining chip. No jurisprudential system will condone such an act (my emphasis).
“It is blackmail and extortion of the highest culpability (my emphasis) and my greatest disappointment is that a once independent agency that I worked with some 25 years ago and of which I have such satisfying memories has descended to such levels in the creation and collection of evidence.
“To use the death threat as a means to the extortion of evidence that is otherwise not there (why else make such a demand?) It is unforgivable and surely must in itself be a crime, leave alone a sin, of the greatest magnitude (my emphasis). Whether his means justify the end that he seeks are matters that Dato Gani will have to wrestle with within his own conscience.”
The Federal Court that heard the Zainur Zakaria (contempt) case freed Zainur from the contempt of court conviction. Presiding Justice Steve Shim said Gani should have given his personal explanation on the allegation that he had threatened Nallakaruppan to fabricate evidence against Anwar.
(The Federal Court was appalled by Augustine Paul’s conduct. They said it “gave the picture that he was behaving as though he was acting as counsel for the two prosecutors in the motion”. A pall had then hung over the judiciary and country.)
There was also the serious allegation by Anwar in his police report in July 1999 that the late Mohtar Abdullah and Gani had “subverted the cause of justice and violated the law” by not prosecuting then Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI) Rafidah Aziz for corruption.
Anwar had attached a document signed by Gani (which was handed to Anwar when he was the DPM by the then AG) stipulating that a prima facie case had been made against Rafidah Aziz on five counts of corruption under Section 2(2),Ordinance 22, 1970.
Gani’s gall & guts
In spite of the alleged “blackmailing and extortion of the highest culpability” and the alleged interference of justice in shielding Rafidah Aziz, Gani was rewarded for allowing himself to be used and his position to be abused.
Commenting on Gani’s promotion to AG in 2001, Steven Gan of Malaysiakini would write: “Abdul Gani Patail is today tapped as Malaysia ’s top legal officer. The legal fraternity, and the rest of the country, cannot but be flabbergasted by this astounding appointment.
“This is, after all, the man - who as chief prosecutor in former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim’s trials - was unable to get the dates of the alleged sodomy acts right, not once but twice. This is the man who was responsible for parading the infamous semen-stained mattress during the court hearings.
“More importantly, this is the man who the Federal Court said should provide ‘some answers to the allegations on the fabrication of evidence’ when it threw out the Zainur Zakaria’s contempt of court case.”
Karpal Singh had this to say then: “In the public’s interest, it is vital that the A-G, who is the highest legal officer in the country, be like ‘Caesar’s wife’, above suspicion” (Star, 19.12.91). Alas, no office has been viewed with more suspicion by the public than the AG’s Chambers!
De facto law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz has denied Kit Siang’s claims, stating that an investigation on the matter was still underway. He added that it was the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and not the solicitor general who was probing the matter (Malaysiakini, 15.10.08).
What the defective de facto law minister says no longer matters to most Malaysians. Public perception of the office of the AG continues to deteriorate from suspicion and skepticism to scorn. With each added glaring revelation and allegation, Gani gains more contempt from the court of public opinion.
The recent claim by ex-deputy president of Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) Raymond Tan that he had been instrumental in stopping the PM from ordering the ACA’s arrest of party president Yong Teck Lee, makes Nazri’s implicit insistence that the ACA will be independent, very laughable and ludicrous!
Abdul Gani Patail can no longer be trusted to honour his oath of office. He should go. But in Bolehland only the courageous (like Zaid Ibrahim) who hold on to their principles are willing to let go of high position.
Will Gani have the guts to give up and to salvage whatever honour he has left? Highly improbable! Perhaps the PM, who, with the invaluable help of Umno recently, will be riding off into the sunset quite soon, could assist the Attorney General on to his high horse?
(16 Oct. 2008)
Friday, October 10, 2008
How Gani Patail TAMPERED with Evidence
In Malaysiakini today - Ex-cop: How AG interfered in 'black eye' case
Beh Lih Yi Oct 10, 08 1:14pm
A retired senior police officer who probed the infamous ‘black eye’ incident involving Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 has made startling claims on how attorney-general (AG) Abdul Gani Patail allegedly tampered with evidence in the case.
In a set of court documents revealed this week, Mat Zain Ibrahim implied that the actions of Abdul Gani, then a senior deputy public prosecutor, delayed the investigation process and concealed facts from then AG, the late Mohtar Abdullah.
Gani’s role explained
Abdul Gani’s alleged interference came into the picture when Mat Zain alleged in his court document that:
- A questionable medical report was prepared by one Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof, allegedly on Abdul Gani’s order.
Mat Zain stated that he found out there was an attempt to “insert irrelevant and suspicious statements” into the investigation report, especially in relation to “Abdul Rahman’s report which was done on the instructions of Abdul Gani” (right). Mat Zain said he was confident that Abdul Rahman has never examined Anwar physically.
- Mat Zain claimed he had obtained information that Abdul Gani was on the 30th floor of the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman when Anwar was assaulted and he believed Abdul Gani knew of the incident either at the time or soon after.
- On Oct 30, 1998, Mat Zain personally handed over his second investigation paper and report to Abdul Gani, and briefed him on the details. Among the conclusions were that the Anwar’s injury was consistent with assault and not self-inflicted; and that Abdul Rahim was the person who caused the injury.
- Although two investigation reports had been given to Abdul Gani on Oct 26 and 30 respectively, Mohtar was quoted in the media on Nov 7 as saying that his chambers had not received any such report.
- It was only on Nov 20 that Mohtar reportedly said he had received the report. Mat Zain said he believed Mohtar’s statement was made after he (Mat Zain) had “pressured” Abdul Gani a day earlier to confirm the status of his two reports.
- On Nov 25, Musa informed Mat Zain that Mohtar wanted to meet him (Mat Zain) at Bukit Aman and to visit the lock-up where Anwar was held. Musa and Abdul Gani were present during the visit.
- Mat Zain later found out that Abdul Rahman’s second medical report had mentioned there was a visit to the lock-up (where Anwar was held) and a “reconstruction of the incidence”, where Mat Zain was named as the person who had accompanied Abdul Rahman to the lock-up. Mat Zain denied this had ever taken place.
- On Jan 6, 1999, Mohtar (left) had reportedly said Mat Zain’s investigations were incomplete and that the latter had yet to identify the perpetrator (despite the findings given to Abdul Gani on Oct 30, 1998).
- Mat Zain said he “believed Abdul Gani concealed important facts from Mohtar’s knowledge” and had personally appointed Abdul Rahman as the medical officer to prepare the report in October 1998. His conclusion was based on the fact that Mohtar had only appointed Abdul Rahman two months later.
- Mat Zain said Abdul Rahman later testified before the royal commission on the ‘black eye’ incident in March 1999 and gave conflicting statements with regard to his own findings. The proceedings came to an end when Abdul Rahim admitted that he had caused the injury to Anwar.
At the end of his court document, Mat Zain vehemently denied Anwar’s accusation that he had plotted any fabrication of evidence with Abdul Gani and Musa.
“The truth is I had acted to the best of my abilities to prevent any party from influencing me to do anything unlawful while investigating Anwar’s injury,” Mat Zain said.
Musa filed a defamation suit against Anwar on July 21 while Abdul Gani has threatened to do the same.
Friday, October 10, 2008
ABDUL GANI PATAIL GETS A BLACK EYE
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail got a direct hit in the eye Wednesday when Mat Zain Ibrahim, a retired senior police officer, testified at Anwar's sodomy trial that it was Gani Patail - then senior deputy public prosecutor with the Attorney-General's Chambers - who tampered with evidence and interfered with internal investigations into a savage assault on sacked DPM Anwar Ibrahim.
According to Malaysiakini, Mat Zain’s claims were first made public on Wednesday, during Anwar’s sodomy trial in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court. Anwar’s lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah had read out the document in court during submissions on why Abdul Gani should not be involved in any aspect of the sodomy case.
However, the media was told not to report the details pending the court’s decision on the admissibility of the evidence. The gag order was lifted yesterday.
According to Mat Zain's 18-page document, he was instructed on September 27, 1998, by then IGP Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor to head an investigation team, after Anwar lodged a report that day that he had been beaten up while in police custody, thereby sustaining injuries including a ‘black eye’.
Read the full report here.
GANI PATAIL IS PROBABLY BUSY SHREDDING DOCUMENTS AND PACKING A BIG SUITCASE.
SO WHERE YOU ARE OFF TO, AGP? TIERRA DEL FUEGO? BUENOS AIRES? OR SUNGAI BULOH?
TAN SRI ABDUL GANI PATAIL
Attorney General of Malaysia
The Honourable Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was born on 6 October 1955. He received his legal education at the University of Malaya and graduated in the class of 1979. He began his illustrious career in the Judicial and Legal Service of Malaysia as a Deputy Public Prosecutor in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on 15 April 1980. In 1985, he was appointed the Senior Federal Counsel for Sabah and held this post until his appointment as the Head of the Prosecution Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers on 16 January 1994. On 14 April 1993, he received the Civil Service of Malaysia Excellent Service Award. His next appointments were as the Head of the Advisory and International Division in 1995 and the Commissioner of Law Revision in 1997. He was then appointed to a second tour of duty as the Head of the Prosecution Division in 2000. He held the position until his appointment as the eighth Attorney General of Malaysia on 1 January 2002.
As the Attorney General of Malaysia, The Honourable Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail is also a member of the Pardons Boards of States in the Federation, including the Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya. By law, the Attorney General is the Chairman of the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysian and the National Higher Education Council. In accordance with the Federal Constitution, the Attorney General is also a member of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission. Apart from these offices, the Attorney General is a member of the Management Board of the Judicial and Legal Training Institute, member of Advisory Panel, Central Bank of Malaysia, a member of the Cabinet Advisory Committee of the Reorganization of Mimos Bhd., the Chairman of the Malaysian Kuwaiti Investment Co. Sdn. Bhd. and a member of the Board of Directors, Institute Integrity Malaysia. He is also a member of the Institute of Language and Literature Malaysia, the Physical Planning Council, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya Land Working Committee, the Motor Sports Commission Organizing Committee and Subang Golf Course Corporation.
On 22 July 2006, the Honourable Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was conferred the Doctor of Law, honoris causa from the University of Nottingham.
The Honourable Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has also appeared before international adjudication bodies. He had been one of the counsels and advocates who had appeared and submitted before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in September 2003, regarding the Case concerning Land Reclamation by Singapore in and around the Straits of Johor between Malaysia and Singapore (Request for provisional measures) in which ITLOS had delivered its Order on 8 October 2003. He had also appeared before a tribunal of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) regarding the case of Malaysia Historical Salvadors Sdn Bhd v. The Government of Malaysia in May 2006 wherein he had appeared on behalf of the Government of Malaysia; and in November 2007, he appeared and submitted before the International Court of Justice in The Hague regarding the Case Concerning Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/ Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore).
Prime Minister should reconsider appointment of Gani Patail as new Attorney-General and introduce an open, transparent and consultative process of appointment as the King has not been advised yet under Article 145(1) of Constitution
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): What is very clear from the Parliament Speaker’s rejection of the urgent motion of definite public importance of the DAP MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok on Monday on the constitutionality and propriety of the appointment of Datuk Abdul Gani Patail as the new Attorney-General is that Article 145(1) of the Constitution for the appointment of the new Attorney-General has not yet been initiated and that the announcement about Gani’s appointment is only a statement of intent and not a statement of fact.
Article 145(1) of the Constitution reads:
“The Yang di Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint a person who is qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court to be the Attorney-General for the Federation.”
From the reasons given by the Speaker’s rejection, there has not only been no appointment of Gani as the new Attorney-General by the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister has not made the “advice” on the appointment to the King as required under Article 145(1).
Last Friday, Kok had given notice under Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 18(1) to adjourn Parliament on Monday to debate Gani Patail’s appointment as the new Attorney-General on a matter of urgent, definite public importance on two important grounds: the constitutionality of his appointment as well as it propriety, in view of two serious allegations against him for obstruction of justice - threatening Anwar Ibrahim’s former tennis partner Datuk S. Nallakaruppan to fabricate evidence against Anwar and shielding the Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz from prosecution on five charges of corruption - which would undermine public confidence in the system and cause of justice in Malaysia.
In rejecting Kok’s motion, refusing to allow her the customary parliamentary privilege of reading it out in Parliament, the Speaker, Tun Mohamad Zahir Ismail gave her a written reply which reads:
“Usul di bawah P.M. 18(1)
Usul Yang Berhormat bertarikh 23 November 2001 telah saya terima.
2. Kedudukan yang sebenar perkara ini adalah Y.Bhg. Datuk Seri Ainum meletakkan jawatannya sebagai Peguam Negara bermula pada 31.12.2001. Dalam masa itu Y.Bhg. Datuk Abdul Ghani akan membantu Datuk Seri Ainum menjalankan tugas-tugasnya sehingga 31.12.2001.
3. Y.Bhg Datuk Abdul Ghani akan dilantik mengambil alih jawatan itu pada 1.1.2002. Ini bermakna perlantikan rasmi Y.Bhg. Datuk Ghani belum lagi dibuat sehingga 1.1.2002 itu. Ini juga bermakna perletakan jawatan dan perlantikan tidak dibuat pada hari yang sama atau dalam tempoh satu hari seperti YB katakan. Proses memohon berkenan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk perlantikan Peguam Negara baru sedang dibuat mengikut Perkara 145(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
4. Berkenaan dengan tuduhan-tuduhan yang dibuat keatas Y.Bhg. Datuk Abdul Ghani itu adalah semata-mata tuduhan dan tidak boleh dibuat alasan untuk menimbangkan di bawah Peraturan 18.
5. Selain dari itu apa yang dikatakan dalam usul Yang Berhormat itu bukanlah satu perkara yang tertentu dan tidak perlu disegerakan. Oleh yang demikian saya menolak usul ini dalam kamar di bawah P.M. 18(7) dan tidak akan dikemukakan dalam Majlis Mesyuarat di bawah P.M. 18(8).”
Zahir’s rejection letter to Kok is an important source material for students of Malaysian constitutional development and history.
Leaving aside the various contentious implications of the Speaker’s arguments, two things are crystal clear - firstly, that Gani has not yet been appointed the new Attorney-General and secondly, that the Prime Minister has not yet invoked Article 145(1) of the Constitution to advise the King of the appointment of the new Attorney-General - as “sedang dibuat” is different from “telah dibuat”.
As the Prime Minister has not yet invoked Article 145(1) to advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong on Gani Patail’s appointment as the new Attorney-General, Mahathir should reconsider his intention to appoint Gani Patail as the new Attorney-General and introduce an open, transparent and consultative process of appointment for senior legal and judicial appointments in keeping with reforms in this field in other Commonwealth countries.
Mahathir should reconsider his intention to appoint Gani as the highest law officer of the land as never before in the nation’s history has the the proposed appointment of the new Attorney-General plunged the country into a new crisis of confidence in the system of justice in Malaysia - as happened in the past week.
In Malaysia’s history, there have been examples of an Attorney-General leaving office under a cloud, but never before had there been a single case of an Attorney-General assuming office under a cloud!
In these circumstances, the Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers should place public confidence in the administration of justice above all other considerations and decide whether justice and the national interests could be served in proceeding with the intention to appoint Gani as the new Attorney-General.
In such a review, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet should seek the widest consultation of views from all sectors of society, in particular the Judiciary, the Bar Council, Parliamentarians, political leaders and representatives of the civil society.
It is most regrettable that Mohamad Zahir had rejected Kok’s motion to debate the issue in Parliament on Monday, even disallowing her the customary right to personally make the application in the House.
Mohamad Zahir seems to have forgotten the proper role and limits of the powers of a Speaker, which is akin to that of an umpire to hold the ring to ensure that all the “players” keep to the rules, and not to get into the ring and be a “player” himself!
Mohamad Zahir had not only denied Kok the parliamentary right to raise urgent issues of public importance in Parliament, but also usurped the role of the executive to answer to Parliament by becoming the government “P.R.O”.
The arguments given by Mohamad Zahir in the rejection letter on the constitutionality and propriety of the government’s actions on the question of the appointment of Gani as the new Attorney-General are open to challenge on many grounds, but they should be made by a government Minister and not by the Speaker, doubling up as “Public Relations Officer” of the government!
If the unsound reasons in the Speaker’s rejection letter are given by a government Minister, they could be challenged and disputed in Parliament as well as by the public - which is now denied to Parliament because it would be tantamount to questoning the ruling of the Speaker which is impossible with the “blind and brute” two-third parliamentary majority of the Barisan Nasional!
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman
Gani Patail's role in Anwar's prosecution comes into question
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 06:13pm
• Anwar's sodomy case postponed to Sept 24
©The Sun (Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 10, 2008): The role of Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case came into question today when the Anwar's lawyers objected to a sudden application by the prosecution to transfer the case to the High Court.
In objecting to the transfer application, Anwar's lead lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah said Abdul Gani was involved in a police report filed by Anwar who accused him (Abdul Gani) and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan of abuse of power in the sodomy charge against him in 1998.
"We were categorically informed that Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail would play absolutely no part in this prosecution," said Sulaiman who pointed out that the prosecution's application was signed by Abdul Gani.
(Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had on July 19 announced that Abdul Gani and Musa would be excluded from involvement in the case as Anwar had alleged that they had fabricated evidence against him in the infamous "black eye" incident in 1998. In 1998, during the investigation of Anwar’s sodomy charges, Musa was the senior investigating officer while Abdul Gani was the head of prosecution.)
"In order to sign this certificate, he (Abdul Gani) would have to apply his mind (to the case). He is not the chief clerk who just signs documents in front of him. ," Sulaiman said.
"He has to apply his mind to the circumstances, cases and consideration to be taken into account before deciding. He is the one who decides whether public interest is involved," Sulaiman added.
Anwar, claimed trial on Aug 7 to the charge of sodomising his 23-year old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a luxury Damansara condominium between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26 this year.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Yusuf Zainal Abiden had at the start of proceeding this morning, filed the application before Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah in a courtroom packed with media and supporters, saying that the case was one of "significant public importance".
"We are asking for the case to be moved because of his (Anwar's) standing, and this case is of unusual importance... the law provides for this. The other reason is because of the public interest in the case. Everybody is interested in the case," said Yusuf.
This led Sulaiman to instantly object to the application signed by Abdul Gani.
"We see absolutely no need for this transfer. Your Honour has the experience, the ability and certainly the jurisdiction... 26 years, not as much perhaps as the learned DPP," quipped Sulaiman.
Komathy later postponed the case to Sept 24 to give time for Anwar's lawyers to prepare arguments against the prosecution's application to transfer the case to the High Court.
She said the two-week period is to let the defence do research on whether there is a need to move the case to the High Court, as the prosecution had argued that this was the procedure when dealing with a prominent person.
Speaking to press outside the court after the court proceeding, Anwar who is Permatang Pauh MP and Parliamentary Opposition Leader slammed the prosecution for conducting the "trial by ambush", saying his lawyers were only notified of the application today.
Meanwhile, asked why his lawyers had asked for the next hearing to be held on Sept 24, Anwar quipped that it was "because I have to go to Taipei to get the MPs."
Asked if his aim of overthrowing the federal government on Sept 16 had been derailed, Anwar claimed it was still on schedule, and dismissed claims that it had been delayed or thwarted.
"No, we are still working on it. It is a technicality as to whether I have to go to Taipei to get them to come back, or whether they'll come back," said Anwar, who also commented on former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's intended return to UMNO
"He's hastening the sinking ship," said Anwar, who was accompanied by his wife, Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his daughters, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Nurul Huda, as well as one of his lawyers, Sankara Nair.
Gani Patail intervention, DSAI will fight back!
Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case was today adjourned to Sept 24 following a dispute over an order signed by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to transfer the case to the High Court.
When the case was called up this morning at 9.58am before Sessions judge SM Komathy Suppiah, the prosecution submitted the order for the case to be transferred to the High Court.
However Anwar’s lawyers disputed the order as it was signed by Abdul Gani, whom they said should not have been involved in the case as he was a party to a complaint lodged by Anwar for evidence tampering in 1998.
They pointed out that even Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said that Abdul Gani and Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan would not be directly involved in Anwar’s sodomy case.
Anwar had previously lodged a police report against the duo for tampering with evidence in his cases 10 years ago.
Justice Komathy then fixed Sept 24 for the parties to argue on the validity of the transfer order signed by Abdul Gani.
Bail issue not raised in court
Earlier Anwar arrived with his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, at 9.30am and were greeted by about 100 opposition supporters outside the court complex.
They were accompanied by two of their daughters, Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha as well as lawyer Sankara Nair.
Both Anwar and Wan Azizah, who were surrounded by a large group of journalists and photographers, slowly made their way into the courtroom, where the hearing is due to begin at 10am.
Anwar was charged with sodomy on Aug 7, allegedly on his former aide 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. He could face a 20-year jail term if found guilty.
The PKR leader pleaded not guilty to the charge and described the allegations as ‘malicious’ and a ’slander’. He also labelled the case against his as ‘trumped-up charges’.
Anwar is out on a RM20,000 personal bond.
There was also a fear among his supporters that his bail could be revoked today, resulting in Anwar being sent to prison while awaiting his trial which could take months.
However, the issue was not raised in court.
Anwar, recently elected overwhelmingly as the Permatang Pauh by-election, has said that he was on course to take over the government later this month with the aid of several defections from Barisan Nasional to his Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Meanwhile the police had heightened the security at the Jalan Duta court complex. At least five Federal Reserve Unit trucks were seen to be on standby.
Journalists were asked to register at three places before being allowed into the courtroom where Anwar’s matter will be heard.
Lim Kit Siang says, “suspend deal until after parliamentary probe”
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 22, 2008
In: Governance No Comments
October 22, 2008
The RM2.3 billion military helicopter deal with Franco-German company Eurocopter should be suspended until a bipartisan parliamentary committee has probed the purchase, urged an opposition leader.
MCPX“I call on the cabinet to take a definitive decision at its Friday meeting that the Letter of Intent awarded to Eurocopter is suspended until the outcome of the scrutiny of the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) on the helicopter deal,” said DAP leader Lim Kit Siang.
According to Lim, PAC has decided last Wednesday to scrutinise the three “mega-scandals” highlighted by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition in the 2009 budget debate.
the RM5 billion Maybank purchase of Bank International Indonesia at five times the book value
the RM2.3 billion defence deal for 12 Cougar EC725 helicopter
the awarding of the RM11.3 billion high-speed broadband contract to TM Bhd
Lim described Defence Ministry secretary-general Abu Bakar Abdullah’s statement last Friday claiming that the decision to procure the Eurocopters had followed proper procedure as “unsatisfactory”.
“No satisfactory answer had been given to queries as to why the full technical evaluation process had not followed standard international practices and lacked transparency,” said Lim in a statement today.
Lim, who is Ipoh Timor parliamentarian, said that “all information and data must be presented to the PAC for its scrutiny, including the outcome of the respective technical, offset and price evaluations for each tender bid”.
He said representives from each of the seven tender bidders should be invited to appear before the committee “as only they will know how the tender process had disadvantaged or sidelined their aircraft”.
PAC, which is tasked to scrutinise and monitor the utilisation of public funds, comprises 13 members from both sides of the House - five of whom are from Pakatan.
The committee is headed by former home minister Azmi Khalid (Umno-Padang Besar) with Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong) as deputy chairperson.
“In its scrutiny, the PAC should have the benefit of independent expert advice and not be totally dependent on the Defence Ministry or Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF),” added Lim.
“Parliament should empower PAC to engage consultants who is knowledgeable in the aviation field especially the helicopter industry and profession.”
Why Brazil can get a better deal?
Lim said that the committee should also investigate the way the “tender team has carried out the selection and check the scoring system to ensure there is no partiality in the grading”.
“Of particular interest to the PAC is the price differential in the Eurocopter deal by Malaysia as compared to Brazil, which is acquiring 50 ‘Super Cougar’ units from Eurocopter at a price consideration of US$1.2 billion, of which the first unit will be delivered in 2010, giving an average unit price of RM84 million as compared to the average unit price of RM193 million for the RMAF’s 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters.”
The Eurocopter controversy was first highlighted in a letter dated October 7 addressed to former defence minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also deputy prime minister and finance minister.
In the five-page letter, Mentari Services Sdn Bhd chairperson Capt (rtd) Zahar Hashim suggested that the tender process, initiated during Najib’s tenure, could have been a “gimmick” since the ministry appeared to favour one company.
Zahar also accused Najib of providing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who took over the defence portfolio on September 17, with an “inaccurate” report pertaining to the contract.
He said the government could have purchased the same number of helicopters from Kelowna, the firm he represents, and save almost RM1.5 billion.
Message to Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi, Chief Justice of the Federal Court: Interpret the Law and administer Justice without fear or favour
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 22, 2008
In: Judiciary 21 Comments
Comment: A petition from 25,000 Malaysians to DYMM Yang diPertuan Agong was ignored; a motion to debate the appointment of Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court in Parliament was denied by the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat; and the Bar Council of Malaysia which represents the legal profession in this country congratulated Tan Sri Zaki on his appointment.
Our King has acted on the advice of the Prime Minister and we are left with no choice at this stage except to respect His Majesty’s decision which has the endorsement of Their Highnesses Raja-Raja Melayu. It is now a fait accompli and let us move forward, but we should not abandon all constitutional and political means to address the issue of the appointment and promotion of judges in our country. Judicial reform must continue with vigour as one of the ways to restore public trust in the judiciary and in our system of government.
As a young man in the mid-1960s, I have had the privilege of knowing and admiring the late Lord President Tun Azmi, a fellow Kedahan of my parents’ generation, who is Tan Sri Zaki’s father. I used to meet him at the Royal Selangor Club during lunch time or in the evening as I was in Wisma Putra (located in the nearby Secretariat Building). Tun Azmi and Tun Suffian Hashim and judges and jurists of that generation were a special breed of men and women. They were apolitical, independent and extremely competent in matters of the law and the administration of justice. They were also role models of judicial probity.
I hope, the new Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki, will learn from his late father, focus on the administration of justice, defend the Constitution, abandon all links with UMNO, and devote the remaining years of his life—he is now 63 years old— to the restoration of the Rule of Law and justice in our country.
Tan Sri Zaki, please ensure that all Malaysians will be protected and equal under the law. Your test will soon come and we Malaysians will observe with anxiety the way you and your brother judges will interpret the law. All the best in your service to Malaysia and the cause of justice. —-Din Merican
Confirmed: King appoints Zaki as Chief Justice
October 21, 2008
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin has appointed Court of Appeal president Zaki Azmi as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today.
MCPXHe also said the King has appointed Chief Judge of Malaya Alauddin Mohd Sheriff as Court of Appeal President and Federal Court judge Arifin Zakaria as the Chief Judge of Malaya. All the appointments are effective October 18, he said in a statement according to Bernama.
Abdullah said the King made the appointments acting on his advice and after consulting the Conference of Rulers.
He said the Federal Court was in contact with Istana Negara on setting the date for the presentation of the instruments of appointment and the swearing-in of the judges.
On October 16, Malaysiakini reported - based on sources - that the Conference of Rulers had decided to stick to convention and name Zaki as the new Chief Justice to replace Abdul Hamid Mohamad.
News of Zaki’s appointment had caused an uproar following his previous links with UMNO.
He was ‘parachuted’ into the Federal Court last September and two months later he was made Court of Appeal president - the second highest post in the judiciary.
The 63-year-old judge will be at the helm for at least three years unless his tenure is extended by the government.
Zaki needs to prove himself
Zaki was UMNO’s legal adviser and had served as chairperson of the party’s election committee as well as deputy chairperson of its disciplinary committee.
DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said Zaki would have to prove he could act independently.
He said that Zaki was a member of UMN0, which leads the ruling coalition, and had been an UMNO corporate lawyer who had headed the party’s disciplinary board.
“Bearing in mind the swirling doubts about the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary on his appointment as the Chief Justice, Zaki must now perform what to many is an impossible task of proving them wrong,” he told AFP.
Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan has said that doubts have been raised over Zaki’s political affiliations and business connections.
“These concerns can only be dispelled by him through the conduct of his duties and by a demonstration of independence and impartiality at all times,” she said last week.
Ambiga said the lawyers’ group would defend the independence and integrity of the judiciary and “is ever vigilant that the doctrine of the separation of powers be upheld.”
The RM2.3 billion 12 Cougar EC725 helicopter deal should be suspended until the outcome of PAC scrutiny
When the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Pekan on Sunday that the Cabinet had agreed that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) scrutinise the acquisition of the Eurocopter EC725 helicopters to replace the aging Nuri helicopters, it raises the serious question whether the Prime Minister-in-waiting fully understands and respects the principle and practice of parliamentary democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers.
In a country truly founded on parliamentary democracy, where the Cabinet is answerable to Parliament and not vice versa, the question of the Cabinet approving a parliamentary scrutiny of an Executive decision would not have arisen – as this is the unquestioned right and prerogative of Parliament in the discharge of its tasks to exercise check-and-balance on executive power.
As the PAC has decided last Wednesday to scrutinise the three mega-scandals highlighted by Pakatan Rakyat in the 2009 budget debate, the RM5 billion Maybank purchase of Bank International Indonesia (BII) at five times the book value, the RM2.3 billion defense deal for 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters and the awarding of the RM11.3 billion high-speed broadband contract to TM Bhd, is Najib suggesting that the Cabinet would only agree to the PAC scrutiny of the Eurocopter deal but not the two other mega-scandals?
Furthermore, what does Najib mean when he said the Cabinet has agreed to the the PAC scrutiny of the Cougar EC725 helicopter deal?
Last Friday, the Defence Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abu Bakar Abdullah issued a totally unsatisfactory statement to claim that the decision to procure the Europcopters was done following proper procedure and was not influenced by any party, as no satisfactory answer had been given to queries as to why the full technical evaluation process had not followed standard international practices and lacked transparency.
Abu Bakar claims that the tender documents by seven bidders were evaluated in three parts – the technical evaluation committee, offset evaluation committee and price evaluation committee.
All information and data must be presented to the PAC for its scrutiny, including the outcome of the respective technical, offset and price evaluations for each tender bid – with representives from each of the tender bidders invited to appear before the PAC as only they will know how the tender process had disadvantaged or sidelined their aircraft.
In its scrutiny, the PAC should have the benefit of independent expert advice and not be totally dependent on the Defence Ministry or Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Parliament should empower PAC to engage consultants who is knowledgeable in the aviation field especially the helicopter industry and profession.
The PAC should also scrutinize the way the tender team has carried out he selection and check the scoring system to ensure there is no partiality in the grading.
Of particular interest to the PAC is the price differential in the Eurocopter deal by Malaysia as compared to Brazil, which is acquiring 50 ‘Super Cougar’ units from Eurocopter at a price consideration of US$1.2 billion of which the first unit will be delivered in 2010, giving an average unit price of RM84 million as compared to the average unit price of RM193 million for the RMAF’s 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters.
In this connection, I call on the Cabinet to take a definitive decision at its Friday meeting that the Letter of Intent awarded to Eurocopter is suspended until the outcome of the scrutiny of the PAC on the helicopter deal.
The PAC should have a greater sense of urgency and seriousness in its decision to scrutinize the Eurocopter deal as well as the other two mega-scandals, the Maybank BII and Telecom HSBB scandals. I understand the PAC has has not scheduled any meeting dates to begin its examination of the three scandals, which is most shocking, as the PAC should be prepared to work extra hard to scrutinize the three mega deals without any delay.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 (4 hours ago) at 13: 42.44 (4 hours ago) and is filed under Defence, Parliament. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
12 Responses to “The RM2.3 billion 12 Cougar EC725 helicopter deal should be suspended until the outcome of PAC scrutiny”
Today at 13: 50.58 (4 hours ago)
With such questionable records, should Abdullah allow him to take over? Abdullah should act to stop him. This will not be for political reason, but for the benefit of the citizens.
I think it is better to let Abdullah to stay on before Pakatan rakyat shall take over, instead of having a batch of hungry ghosts from UMNO to suck our blood.
Thinking Two Says:
Today at 14: 11.59 (4 hours ago)
They knew very well that they have nothing to show. So it is the time to push all out while still around!
Renaissance » Blog Archive » Najib Doesn’t Understand How Malaysia’s Democracy Works Says:
Today at 14: 21.59 (4 hours ago)
[…] Read more here. posted under Journal […]
Today at 14: 49.09 (3 hours ago)
How to wait YB, they are not prepare to forgo their fat commissions!
Less questions asked, the better is the outcome for their greedy plan.
Today at 14: 49.31 (3 hours ago)
It is sad and frustrating to note that we will soon be having a PM whose integrity is in doubt.
Najib must quickly clear his name or else he will not last longer than Badawi as PM because by the next election BN will suffer more lost of confidence and this will translate into votes.
There is no point of having power and plenty of money if there is no peace and harmony in the country.
Today at 15: 08.55 (3 hours ago)
They thought the Raykat are still dumb dumb so that they can do whatever things they want to do…. now they will get the taste!!!
Good jobs from the Pakatan Rakyat.Keep it up!
Today at 15: 27.51 (3 hours ago)
Scandals after scandals which are worst of than Watergate and Whitewater Scandals combine and the administration of this country can brush aside the issues with no single criminal charged. Good job ‘Mr Clean’, our cleaners getting much more respect than you ‘Mr Clean’.
Now they can happily carrying on the scandals without fear in bright day light equivalent to day light robbery! What happen to Lingam, Atantuya, Submarine etc scandals now?! All buried and forgotten?!
Something seriously wrong with this country fellow Malaysians!
Haywire administration rules with rules of the jungle!
Today at 15: 46.19 (2 hours ago)
Wondered why UMNO is so dry in terms of potential leaders to fight the current old generation, outdated and tainted leaders. There is NO much competition neither for the UMNO presidency nor the vice presidency. Where are all the towering Malays? UMNO is indeed heading for doom.
Today at 16: 31.30 (2 hours ago)
The entire camp is like “spill milk” which canot be corrected.
The culture of getting “lucrative commission”, a polite term for corruption is too attractive. Except those dare for a scrutiny from public, there is nothing else to say but to support YB Lim’s proposition for getting consent from taxpayer before the government carrying out mega project.
Today at 17: 06.09 (1 hour ago)
Isn’t this supposed to be a golden handshake for the outgoing premier who has reluctantly agreed to the early transition of power? Otherwise why the rushed swap of portfolios?
These unmo goons have very little regard, if at all any, for the principle and practice of parliamentary democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers, as you have so aptly put it. This whole country is their little toy, to be played with the way they saw fit. You think they will give a damn even if you rant and kick for all you like….talk till your voice is course? Parliament is just for show since they have all the powers to play with all those little dirty games among themselves. They really believed that this country belongs to them only and therefore it is their god-given right to milk whatever they damn well pleased! It’s a big waste of time, for my money, to deal with greedy and murderous people like them. The only solution to all these is to wait for the next GE and the opposition parties unite to convincingly and unequivocally trounce them in the polls. We have to definitely get rid of this bunch of useless goons and restore true democracy to the country.
Today at 17: 11.12 (1 hour ago)
It would seem the cabinet does not understand parliamentary procedures. On the other hand, they have been in power for so long that they are not used to be questioned by the Opposition. And the more they behave thus the more they make Malaysia a laughing stock!!
Today at 17: 37.14 (1 hour ago)
CHECKMATE! Their mistakes are not defendable. Whatever reasons they give will not be taken in by the people. But of course they will continue bullsh***ing all of us.
Since suspending the deal will only prove them more wrong, they will never do it. They will never admit their wrongs for the sake of their future and cronies.
Can Umno change for the better?
22 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By Wong Chin Huat
Najib Razak (Public domain)DATUK Seri Najib Razak said it most aptly: the Barisan Nasional (BN) has to change, or it will be changed. Every component party in the coalition knows it only too well. Except for one.
Umno does not need to overhaul its election machinery, media apparatus or selection of candidates. The target of reform should be the system itself — the electoral one-party state that Umno started building since 1955, and overhauled once after 1969.
The political system stands on two bases: authoritarianism and ethnic politics. In the past, these have reinforced each other: ethnic politics has been used to rationalise authoritarianism. Authoritarianism in turn forces Malaysians of all ethnicities and faiths to participate in the oligarchic game of ethnic power-sharing. Ethno-hegemony has almost been synonymous with political stability.
The BN system was such a smart design of equilibrium that it impressed even many foreign observers. Some genuinely saw Malaysia as a model of ethnic accommodation when many other third-world countries had failed. Apparently, the successes in the West's so-called multicultural democracies were not comparable with Malaysia's.
The reformist-Mahathirite spectrum
That the BN suffered disastrous losses on 8 March spoke volumes that "something has gone wrong" with the system. But what? This is the same question former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asked in his once-banned book, The Malay Dilemma.
The most radical position, split into two strands, is that both authoritarianism and communalism are outdated. Both need to be replaced. The "external" and "radical" strand is represented by Umno's own ousted deputy president, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (1993-1998). He now leads a multiethnic opposition coalition vowing to end the BN's/Umno's rule.
The spokesperson for the "internal" and the "moderate" strand is none other than Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who led Umno dissidents in the late 1980s. Razaleigh himself once led another multiethnic opposition coalition to challenge Umno/BN's rule. He has called for Umno to be transformed into a multiethnic party, not unlike the futile call of the party's founding president, Datuk Onn Jaafar.
Sharing a similar position, but definitely not daring to associate with the Kelantanese prince, are Umno's junior partners, especially Gerakan.
The next position is that while authoritarianism is outdated, ethnic parties are still needed. So, there should be political reforms to usher in an independent judiciary, effective anti-graft institutions, reforms to the police force, and even a freer media. But Malay dominance must remain the sacred cow in Malaysian politics.
This is the position of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, and also the likes of Datuk Shahrir Samad and Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek. This might be the reason why Abdullah has given the cold shoulder to Gerakan's suggestion to transform the BN into a single multiethnic party. Incidentally, all three men were once in Umno's Team B in the late 1980s, led by Razaleigh and Tun Musa Hitam.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that the electoral one-party state was weakened only by Abdullah's own weak leadership. In other words, a crafty blend of authoritarianism and communalism would still do well.
Mahathir (Public domain) Judicial, anti-graft and police reforms would only erode Umno and Malay power. What Umno needs today is even more assertive use of power. The leader of this faction is, of course, none other than Mahathir himself. Many fear that his followers include Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Like Abdullah, who is fighting to leave a legacy, Mahathir's task is to ensure Umno embraces his legacy. Umno must not challenge his mega projects, Operasi Lalang, or his handling of the 1988 judicial crisis. He was Umno's second transformative leader after Tun Abdul Razak, who reinvented the umbrella party of Malay groups that Datuk Onn founded in 1946. In fact, Mahathir perfected the concentration of power within the electoral one-party state.
Anyone would inevitably have to dismantle Mahathir's political architecture to be Umno's third transformative leader. This explains why the former premier of 22 years had to eliminate Musa and Anwar and pick their weaker alternatives: Tun Ghafar Baba and Abdullah. If only Abdullah was weak and obedient enough, he might have survived well, like Singapore's Goh Chok Tong.
Abdullah's last chance
Which faction will prevail in Umno's party elections? The answer cannot be clearer, what with Muhyiddin's earlier call to bring back party elections to December, reneging on the conditions for Abdullah's voluntary retirement.
While Muhyiddin revises his position now, the prospect is not bright for Abdullah to have his three flagship reforms carried out before his retirement. These reforms are the setting-up of the Judicial Appointments Commission, the Malaysian Commission on Anti-Corruption, and the Independent Police Misconduct and Complaints Commission.
Muhyiddin (Source: jphpk.gov.my) Abdullah does not have until March 2009 to accomplish this. His deadline is actually 11 Dec, the day Parliament closes. This is because all three reforms will need the passage of parliamentary legislation, if not also constitutional amendments.
Rationally, there is no reason why Najib and Muhyiddin should allow Abdullah to fulfill his dream. It's not, as many have argued, that an independent judiciary and other political reforms will hurt Umno leaders, especially Najib. He is, of course, still being tainted by the case of Altantuya Shariibuu's murder.
By successfully ousting his fourth deputy, Abdullah, Mahathir can assert that he is the most powerful power-broker in Umno politics. And all this without even having rejoined the party yet. There is no reason for Najib and Muhyiddin to anger Mahathir by being kind to Abdullah.
The fate of Abdullah's reforms is as dim as that of his followers, or those who did not back Najib or Muhyiddin early enough. Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib and Datuk Seri Ali Rustam are on the way out. They can't back down now to defend their vice-president positions, and the competition is already overcrowded. Khairy Jamaluddin will have a tough fight, too. Following the reemergence of the old emperor, the vultures in the party are now circling Abdullah's leaderless troops.
While an anti-reform Umno may appease party members who feel psychologically traumatised after 8 March, it will not appeal to the electorate at large. Those in Umno who criticise Abdullah now should remember that they could have suffered similar losses in 2004. Indeed, the BN won in those elections hugely because it was led by someone completely different from Mahathir.
Pak Lah (© Wan Leonard)In other words, Abdullah won in 2004 because he was an alternative to Anwar rather than a follower of Mahathir. He lost in 2008 because he was not an effective enough reformist. To win the next general election, Najib has to reinvent himself as a reformist. But there is no incentive for him to do so against Mahathir's wishes. That's the tragedy of Umno, unless Abdullah dares to attempt something bold for the first and last time.
The whole scenario would change if he covertly backs Razaleigh to win 30% of the nominations. The aged Razaleigh may not stand a better chance than Senator John McCain. But Najib — who is no Obama either — cannot afford to humiliate Abdullah further. He will also have to stop the annihilation of Abdullah's loyalists.
Both Abdullah's troops and his reforms will then have a better chance to survive. Thus can Umno successfully reform itself.
The question remains. Is Abdullah bold enough to deliver this blow, not to Najib, but effectively to Mahathir? Does he dare fight back?
A political scientist by training and a journalism lecturer by trade, Wong Chin Huat uses the Federal Constitution as his "bible" to fend off the increasingly intolerable evil called "state".
MCA's New Leaders: Will a reformed MCA Continue to be UMNO's Lap-Dog?Read here article "MCA opts for reformist team " by Carolyn Ong
MCA Youth Chief
The 2000-plus MCA delegates picked as president, Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat, who has a reputation for being outspoken. He won with a credible 512-vote majority over Mr Chua Jui Meng, a former health minister, who also came with reformist credentials.
The newly-elected president Ong Tee Keat has strong reformist credentials.
Despite the stigma of a sex scandal, Malaysia's former health minister Chua Soi Lek made a surprising comeback when he won the deputy president's post in the Malaysian Chinese Association. He has no government post, he is not an MP, and he has the baggage of a sex scandal. He resigned early this year (as Health Minister) after a DVD of him having sex with a woman stunned the nation. Dr. Chua Soi Lek did not contest the March election, and was written off politically. (MCA grassroots) see him as having been a good minister, and an effective negotiator with Umno who can defend their interests. He managed a narrow 114-vote majority in party polls on Saturday over Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan, the brother of outgoing president Ong Ka Ting.
Party insiders point out that the new leadership lineup is largely made up of fresh faces seen as reformist, an indication that the grassroots are well aware of the realities.
To the outside observer, however, it seemed the MCA's choice was out of touch with the ground. In the March general election, voters abandoned the MCA, rejecting a leadership seen as subservient to Umno.
Some of outgoing president Ong Ka Ting's critics have also hailed Dr Chua Soi Lek's victory as a rejection of dynastic politics as his brother Mr Ong Ka Chuan was voted out. There had been discontent in the party about the dominance of the Ong brothers (Ka Ting and Ka Chuan).
The new MCA lineup is also seen as a break with the past, and setting new directions for the party. All four vice-presidents are new.
Former Women's chief Dr Ng Yen Yen made it into the ranks, the first woman to do so. It also includes Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, seen as a young professional.
Independent-minded Malacca grassroots leader Wong Nai Chee was elected into the central committee, while the well-regarded Dr Wee Ka Siong is the new Youth chief.
They are seen as leaders with little affiliation to the divisive teams of the past, and have spoken up strongly for the Chinese community's interests.
It now remains to be seen how the new president will manage his new team to remake MCA into a party with a multiracial outlook.
Chua Jui Meng: If Only He Had Won the MCA Presidency!
Read here article "Chua Jui Meng, MCA's Loss, Whose Gain?" on Din Merican's Blog
by Din Merican
".... It was indeed my distinct honour to be in the company of Dato’ Chua Jui Meng, Datin Chua and his close friends at dinner in Kuala Lumpur last night.
Although he did not win the MCA presidency, Jui Meng polled 4O per cent of the votes. It is indeed an achievement considering the fact that he no longer holds any party office since 2005.
Ong Tee Keat talks tough,(but) it is NOT likely that the new MCA President will “rock the Barisan national boat” and challenge the dominance of UMNO in the BN coalition.
So Jui Meng’s appeal, “March 8 was our wake up call; let MCA arise to a new dawn on October 18″, will fall on deaf ears.
As I engaged myself in intense conversation with him, I could not help but notice that Jui Meng was able to articulate his views clearly on major issues affecting both the MCA and our country.
His vision and ideas are reflected in his 2008 MCA Presidential Candidate manifesto titled “Rebuild The Party/Return to Relevance/Realise Vision 2020.” (click here to read) Bloggers and readers of this blog should visit http://www.chuajuimeng.com/ for the full manifesto.
I propose to highlight some key elements of the Jui Meng manifesto, hopefully to stimulate some discussion for the benefit of all of us who are concerned about our current national malaise and the future of our plural, culturally diverse, and resource rich country. A lawyer by profession, Jui Meng opens his mainfesto with the following statement:
“The results of the General Elections this year should serve as a wake up call to our Party.
MCA has been labelled irrelevant and out of touch with the aspirations of not only the Malaysian Chinese community but the nation as a whole.
...I now predict that unless MCA reforms and transforms within the next 3 years we will face an even worse defeat at the next General Election”.
I take Jui Meng’s call for reform to mean that if MCA adopts the UMNO culture of money politics, patronage, and cronyism, as it is inclined to do now, the oldest Chinese party of Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin would be badly beaten in the 13th General Elections and rejected by Malaysian Chinese.
It is obvious to me that his call was listened and accepted by about 40 per cent of the delegates, the rest being happy to accept the status quo which the new President, Dato Ong Tee Keat, represents.
If Jui Meng had won, he would have embarked on the path of reform centered on 3 ideas:
a) Rebuild the MCA;
b) Return to Relevance; and
c) Realise Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia.
There is a need for MCA to overcome its Post May 13, 1969 Syndrome.
It involves a transformation of the MCA mindset of a subordinate to UMNO. This syndrome has prevented the MCA from playing a more active role, as in a partnership of equals I presume, in formulating and deciding key policies that impact on the nation and the Chinese community.
Jui Meng adds that the MCA must NOT be afraid to “offend UMNO and lose our positions and privileges if we speak out against policies that are obviously detrimental to the unity and development of our nation”.
In his Return to Relevance part of the manifesto, he states that the party leadership “must also reach out and reconnect MCA with the community”. The details of how Jui Meng proposes to do it are in the manifesto and need not concern us here.
His "Realise Vision 2020 segment" is perhaps the most daring and controversial articulation of his Vision for a United Malaysia.
The fact that he prepared to challenge the status quo and risk his chances for the presidency, I think, speaks volumes of the character and integrity of Jui Meng.
The MCA must fight and help realise Vision 2020 for ALL Malaysians, a vision that seeks to unite all Malaysians and to create a confident united nation with strong moral and ethical values living in a community that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, socially equitable and progressive with a resilient, robust and competitive economy.
His boldest statements in his manifesto relate to Article 8 (i) and (ii), Article 11(i) and (ii) and Article 12 (i) and Article 121 of the Federal Constitution.
On the NEP, Jui Meng said that it should be replaced by an affirmative action policy which is focused on poverty eradication and be based on needs.
I told him that I was taken up by some of his ideas which relate to national unity and social justice and would read his manifesto in full and promised to be in touch.
I asked Jui Meng, “what’s up next for you, Dato?”.
His spontaneous response was “Din, Datin and I are going to take a short break. But please remember, politics is in my blood and my business of bringing about change in the way we run the country will continue.”
He left me wondering what he might do next?
It is a sad fact that in a country where mediocrity is the culture and incompetence is indeed tolerated, we lose good men. They are not listened to, are often regarded with suspicion or even demonised as national security risks and traitors to the nation.
As such, they not only face rejection but also persecution and brutal treatment under the Internal Security Act. Yet only few good men with the dynamism, integrity, and courage to attract committed followers and supporters are all we need to transform our nation.
To this group of men, I would include Dato Chua Jui Meng. If Jui Meng is MCA’s loss, whose gain will it be, I wonder.
Posted by Malaysian Unplug @ 23:46,
At 21 October 2008 04:47, Yap Chong Yee said...
It is time for the MCA to truely represent their true constituents, the Chinese who have for the past 50 years been used as stepping stone for the enrichment of miscreants who claim to represent the Chinese only to turn their opportunity into self aggrandisement; leaving the Chinese as victims of UMNO's racism.
Since March 8 elections, we the Chhinese people has found another voice in the opposition led by Dato Seri Anwar, who has openly and rightly declared his rejection of the NEP; this is the man who must lead a reformed Malaysian Government. A government who will restore THE RULE OF LAW, which to all Chinese is what is most important, because without RULE OF LAW, there cannot be any legal rights.
I ask my Chinese brothers & sisters to FORCE THE MCA TO SUPPORT DATO SERI ANWAR as the most important reform that we must not pass up. Supporting Dato Seri Anwar is CHANGE that we need. We Chinese can only find our own strength if we act in our own interests, and this can only come from our leaders who can be independant of the BULLYING OF UMNO. If MCA still act as the DOG OF UMNO then we wuill have passed up our only chance to find our own strength. Chinese must realise that we can only find our own strength if Chinese form our CHINESE VOTE INTO THE SWING VOTE AND THAT IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD.
WE CHINESE MUST BE THE SWING VOTERS, BECAUSE IT IS ONLY IF WE ARE THE SWING VOTERS AS A BLOCK THAT WE WILL STAND UP AND BE STRONG IN OUR OWN RIGHT.
MCA NEEDS TO STEER AWAY FROM UMNO AND TO JOIN WITH DATO SERI ANWAR AND STAND IN OUR OWN RIGHT INSTEAD OF BEING THE DOG OF UMNO. UMNO HAS FOR 50 YEARS SPAT IN OUR FACE AND THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BREAK FREE. DO NOT MISS THIS CHANCE.
At 21 October 2008 10:33, Neo said...
Do you think MCA, MIC & Gerakan will survive next general election?They are just dogs of the UMNO idiots. M'sia will never ever attain vision 2020 goal because there are too many idiots governing our beloved country.
UMNO Leaders Elected Based on Financial Greed of UMNO SupportersRead here for more and HERE
What It Takes to be an UMNO Leader
at Grassroot and National Levels
According to a report by Star, UMNO supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Umno must admit it has a problem with money politics and if left to fester, the party might as well hand posts to the highest bidder.
“It would be just better for Umno to have a tender system so that anyone who contributes the highest amount can be a leader.”
Rais, who has so far obtained only six nominations, also lamented that the party was now “in the clutches of corporate personnel and businessmen,” judging from its culture of money politics.
Rais Yatim said he had been asked to pay for votes in the upcoming contest for top posts, and warned that money politics would destroy the party.
Rais, who is Foreign Minister said "the majority" of Umno members were more interested in making money out of the election than in voting for the right person.
"The majority of Umno people want to look for money and not for good leaders," said Rais, a member of Umno's Supreme Council who is vying for the vice-presidency.
"We have been approached under the cloak of assistance and cloak of contribution. (But) I'm not a player so you don't see my marks going up very high. If you want to be a good player, you have to say yes (to vote-buying)," he told reporters.
Rais, who has been with Umno for over 33 years, said the problem of money politics within the ruling party should be eradicated or it "will surely kill the party."
"If Umno cannot curb this practice, Umno's future is done for because this has been (talked about) for the past two decades and it has not been curbed," he said.
In July, Umno asked the country's anti-corruption agency to help it battle vote-buying ahead of the heated battle for top leadership positions in the party.
On whether he would lodge a police report on his allegations of money politics, Rais said he could not as he did not have enough evidence of such wrongdoing.
Read here on Tumpang Sekoleh Blog
Even at "cawangan level" money changed hands in thousands. UMNO members who can effort to depart with such an amount, no matter whether he is a good or bad leader he will be "ketua cawangan" in the end.
This money culture cultivated by UMNO will never end.
Remember how money played an important part that denied Mahathir from being a "perwakilan" for his Bahagian?
For that matter,the candidate that obtains the highest number of nominations doesnt mean he will be guaranteed of victory, coz, during the AGM millions of RM will be floating around in vote buying.
So Mukhriz, beware, though you might obtained the highest number of nominations for Ketua Pemuda, the so called underdog SIL (son-in-law) might edge you for the post, by the power of the RINGGIT.
Lets money politics destroy UMNO for good..........
Posted by Malaysian Unplug @ 22:00,
At 23 October 2008 03:56, Yap Chong Yee said...
YB Rais Yatim ! Tell us something that we do not already know. That said, the respone of Rais is in every way sour grapes.
On three sides of the Barisan National (forget Gerakan, they do not exist anymore)The Malays(UMNO), the Chinese (MCA) and the Indians (MIC)deserves those who control the party aparatus. On all three sides of this bogus cabal, those who lead the aparatus are no more than political charletans and frauds. These so called leaders of the Barisan control the parties honey pots. UMNO has a Rm.2 billion ringgit KASANA AND MCA has another Rm.1.5 ringgit honey pot. Every one of those who led Barisan Component parties has their hands in these honey pots. In the financial meltdown, I believe one of the Mahatir children lost something like 500 million ringgit and the son of Ling Liong Sik lost another 500 million pinggit. Where do these people get their money, PRINT THEM OR WHAT ?
UMNO perpetuates their iron death grip on power and they are dutifully support by MCA and MIC leaders of both parties licking the shit off the boots of UMNO. 50 years eating UMNO shit and we can expect this new crop of MCA so called leaders who will do the same for money, STILL LICKING THE SAME SHIT OFF THE BOOTS OF UMNO !
Year 2008 is the year that will save Malaysia for their citizens or go bust ! This is the first time in all of 50 years when politics in Malaysia can be salveged from the shit hole. There is a duty for MCA to join Pakatan and form govenment. I say to all those charletans in MCA that in politics there is no such thing as LOYALTY. You go with the alliance that will do the best for your constituents; and it does not matter if it is not UMNO. 50 years of licking the boots of UMNO and what are the Chinese in Malaysia other than being 2nd class Malaysians ? Pendatangs dogs of UMNO. Do you in the MCA not have any self worth ?
THERE IS ONLY ONE SOLUTION OR THE CHINESE, AND THAT IS TO LEAVE THE BARISAN NATIONAL AND JOIN PAKATAN !
At 23 October 2008 07:57, Anonymous said...
... it's citizens like you, Yap Chong Yee, that keeps Malaysians on edge... sadly, despite your observations, you're rather immature and have nothing constructive to comment... you comments reflect that you really have nothing substantial to contribute at all... if all Malaysians think the way you do, then our country is certainly doomed.... God-forbid....
At 23 October 2008 08:49, tomthomas said...
I fully support Yap Chong Yee's comments about YB Rais Yatim. He is truly a sour grape. He doesn't know what he is actually doing in this world of ours. Have you ever really noticed and observed how he speaks to the Press.......? He makes me real sick.
He has made his millions and why now complain about others. They are in the same boat.
To these people....Power is Money and Money is Power.
At 23 October 2008 09:24, Yap Chong Yee said...
Hello my friend ! Why is asking the MCA to do what is to the majority of Malaysians THE RIGHT THING immature ? It is because the majourity had rejected UMNO that the reality of March 8 had happened.
Do you dispute the reality that Chinese have been marginalised for all of these 50 years since independance ? Do you dispute the reality that Chinese are 2nd class "PENDATANG" and live in Malaysian at sufference ? Do you disagree that the national resources of Malaysia are mainly channeled to the Malays ? Do you disagree that at the time of independance (1957) there were 5 million Chinese and 6 million Malays, and that today there still just a mere 5 million Chinese and 22 million Malays ? Do you disagree that these differences in the natural growth of Chinese and Malay component of Malaysian society is the reflection of the increase in outward migration of the Chinese component to Singapore, Australia, UK, USA Canada etc tec ?
Do you disagree that the student population of Malaysian Universities reflect the UNJUST DENIAL OF PLACES TO THE CHINESE ?
WHAT HAS THE MCA DONE IN ALL THESE 50 YEARS AS A SO CALLED MAJOUR COMPONENT OF THE BN ? Where is the gain for the Chinese in Malaysia for supporting the MCA and for the MCA for licking the shit off the boots of UMNO ?
At least Dato Seri Anwar has openly and with courage and conviction declared that he will VOID THE NEP and that a fairer policy for the advancement of all Malaysians and that since the Malays are the ones that best need assisstance, the majourity of Malays will receive government largess. The Chinese have no problem with this formula because assistance is given on a needs basis and the poor need more help than those who already have too much as members of UMNO are already blessed by the crony politics of Malaysia.
I say to my brothers and sisters in the MCA not to allow the leadership of the MCA apparatus to hijeck the control of the party. I call on the general membership of MCA to put your strength in numbers to pro-actively debate the non merits of further remaining in the Barisan National. Force the MCA to leave the BN and join Pakatan and force change for the betterment of future of your children.
At 23 October 2008 17:47, tomthomas said...
MCA is a real hypocrite......behind the backs of UMNO, every member is voicing out their grievances but the moment they face UMNO......as quiet as a sick mouse. In chinese we say.......bohlanpachi........
Are they willing to give up the comfort zone and be with the real Bangsa Malaysia ? Definitely not....they are enjoying themselves and trying to make as much as they can before the next government takes over and it will be very soon.
As for comments posted by "anonymous-23 October 07:57, have you contributed anything besides giving your opinions on the comments made by Yap Chong Yee.
At least he is "brave" enough to sign off as his name rather than your "anonymous"..... the only advice that can be given to you is... go fly kites and f #@#k spiders.
Happy Devali from Brother Najib and Me
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 26, 2008
In: Uncategorized No Comments
My fellow Malaysians,
I join Brother Najib and our Muslim brothers and sisters in wishing you a Happy Deepavali 2008. While we celebrate this very special occasion for Hindus around the world, let us not forget to say a prayer for the good health and safety of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Private Investigator P. Subramaniam, the brave men of HINDRAF and other ISA detainees in Kamunting, Perak and for their release from detention. Let us continue with vigor and resolve to abolish the ISA. —Din Merican
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim speaks to Malaysiakini
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 26, 2008
In: Economy| Politics No Comments
Pakatan wary of 1969, says Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Selangor Menteri Besar
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | October 25, 2008
Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the opposition Pakatan Rakyat is treading very carefully towards forming the federal government, lest certain quarters be provoked to completely suspend the country’s system of democracy.
MCPXHe said the suspension of Parliament and the state of emergency called - and since then still technically in place - after the wins by the opposition in the May 1969 general election offer sombre lessons for those seeking drastic change.
Khalid said that while Anwar Ibrahim, who is parliamentary opposition leader and PKR de facto head, harbours strong ambitions of leading the change of government, he is also painfully aware that such moves could lead to a change in the very system of governance itself.
“We are (still) working towards it. Anwar is very careful - we have to be very careful. Because any rushed action may end up in curtailing the democratic process. We do know Malaysia had that experience in 1969,” he told MalaysiaIndru editor Ji Wi Kathaiah in a recent interview.
“It is not in our interests that by seeking to acquire government, people are deprived of democracy,” he added.
“He has got an idealism such that if you can get to rule the federal government, it would be better,” Khalid added in reference to the five Pakatan-led states.
“But I am of the opinion that we have to be careful, that by taking over government, you do not trade in democracy,” he stressed.
Sept 16 deadline missed
Anwar, formerly the deputy premier and finance minister, has declared he had enough supporters from the ruling BN coalition to topple its government.
Pakatan Rakyat, which controls 81 parliamentary seats, needs another 31 MPs for a simple majority to form the federal government.
Since then, Anwar has missed the September 16 self-imposed deadline. While asserting that Pakatan still has several other options to explore, he conceded several days ago that he was running out of options in trying to upset Barisan rule.
“I am not saying we have no options left, but I’m saying it’s getting to be much more difficult,” Anwar was quoted as saying.
Khalid said while he has decades of experience as a captain of several government-linked companies and in corporate takeovers, politics is a whole new ball game with many more risks to consider.
However slim the chances that the Barisan government would repeat its crackdown on dissent as seen about four decades ago, they still warrant caution on the part of Pakatan, said Khalid.
“Well, you calculate the probability. You may say it is a small probability. But however small it is… I’m among those who are not seeking to wrest control of the government at all costs. The people have to come first, and everything else should follow.
“Of course, we have a situation where once we do it, we have to go back to the people and decide whether you want us to be in power or not. There may have to be elections as early as possible in order to gain legitimate recognition of this new government.
“But of course, in politics, the game is fluid. I do not have any experience in this. Logically, I can think. But politics is not logical. Taking over a corporation, I can handle. But taking over a government, you are handling different groups of people” he said.
In the one-hour interview, Khalid also spoke on the latest developments surrounding the Wives of Selangor State Assemblymen and MPs Charity and Welfare Organisation (Balkis), the state of the ten ‘exco bungalows’, and plans for state officials and elected representatives to declare their assets and liabilities.
He also spoke of the state government’s plans to create a system of checks and balances at the level of local government to minimise corruption.
Q & A with Khalid Ibrahim
Malaysiakini’s Q&A session with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 26, 2008
In: Economy| Governance| Politics 14 Comments
Q & A with Khalid Ibrahim
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | October 25, 2008
This is the Q&A of Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s recent interview with
MCPXMalaysiaIndru editor Ji Wi Kathaiah
Malaysiakini: On the issue of the Wives of Selangor State Assemblymen and MPs Charity and Welfare Organisation (Balkis), there was some considerable outcry, but suddenly there is now silence. What’s the position now on the issue?
Khalid Ibrahim: In writing to the Registry of Societies, we requested the Registrar of Societies to make a decision as to whether Balkis will be liquidated or not. So far, we have not heard anything from them. But while we are doing that, we also identified the assets and resources of the state that were passed to Balkis in order for them to do their welfare projects. Among the things that need to be resolved is the ownership of land that they built a hostel on for the poor.
While this was being done, we also requested the Special Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) under the Selangor legislative assembly to conduct an inquiry into this issue of Balkis, because the powers of Selcat were not extended clearly to non-governmental bodies or non-governmental individuals, so it will be not very effective if these members or individuals or organisations do not appear at the inquiry.
So at this meeting of the state legislative assembly, we are introducing an enactment to protect the authority of the state legislative assembly, and if anybody tries to undermine the state legislative assembly, then the committee will be legally bound to report to the Attorney-General’s (state) office to take the necessary action against these individuals or institutions. So, following this approval or passing of this enactment, then the Selcat special committee will then start to proceed with their findings.
So the introduction of the enactment is on the way?
We have already moved. It’s registered and we have made a declaration on it, and in the next one or two days, the enactment will be tabled for approval at the state legislative assembly.
Another thing that you have promised is that upon assuming office, each one of you would declare your assets.
The state requested that when we do our reporting, it is already personally audited. The exco has appointed Ernst and Young to look at the individual assets and liabilities and to keep it for public information. But for the Pakatan Rakyat states of Penang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor, we need to have a common basis on how to portray the reporting of the assets and liabilities. There are issues that need to be resolved. Like what the federal government is trying to do in getting the prime minister, the deputy prime minister and all the ministers and deputy ministers to be subject to the same format of information. A few Pakatan states requested Selangor to standardise all this.
The issue with declaring assets is this: the Pakatan elected representatives want to make sure that the information, especially on assets and ownership, will not lead to other issues in the future. An example is that there are worries that if they are high net worth individuals, their families will not be subject to kidnaps.
On investigations. All that needs to be resolved. As far as the state of Selangor is concerned, we are very open on this.
Yes. We expect you to lead on this.
We also respect the need to do it together. We will resolve these issues when we have our next meeting. There is a proposal for a meeting of all menteris besars and chief ministers of Pakatan states to resolve this issue.
People can expect something to happen soon?
Yes. I volunteered to personally offer to declare my assets. There are others waiting. We will do it as soon as we have can do it together.
But we’ve already established another thing: Any purchase (by Pakatan senior officials) of assets since March 8 has to be declared. The earlier assets (purchased) may be a point of contention, but any purchase of assets after March 8 will have to be declared.
So following Deepavali, this will…
We have to get together to resolve this.
The sooner, the better. Some are quoting (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) PSM and (its chairperson) Nasir Hashim and saying ‘He has done it,’ (central committee member) Dr Michael D Jeyakumar has done it, why not these people?
We are dealing not with one group of people, we are dealing with many…
Has anybody declared anything so far?
No. I also personally have not been purchasing any assets so far.
But even about you, there were a lot of questions. They said you have to declare this and that, your bank accounts, your bank loans, and so on. These issues were raised…
That will be done.
When you took over, there was the issue of the bungalows that were built for EXCO members of the previous state administration. They are in delapidated conditions now. Has there been anything done to save public property?
Not really. I had the opportunity to visit the complex where they have the common hall, which was used for the occasion (to visit). We need to resolve the issue of the complex, because we have signed an agreement for people to take care of the building. As you know, if the building is not occupied, there will be more costs to that. We included those costs.
How much does it cost your treasury a month?
For a year it went as high as maybe RM1,000 a month for each (bungalow in) the complex. But to date, our EXCO for housing (building structure administration and squatters) Iskandar (Abdul Samad) has assigned two units to each of the real estate (agency) to get them moving to get people to occupy the place.
To get tenants, you mean?
Tenants, or whatever they want, to occupy the place. By January 1, everything will be in place.
There’s always talk about how the worst corruption occurrs at the local councils. They have also not been people-friendly. People go there, the officers go on doing as they like, people wait outside for hours, and there are a lot of problems there. When Pakatan took over this state, people expected some good changes, but some are saying it has not changed as expected.
Unwinding 50 years of bad habits is not that easy. What we have done has been in two parts. One is the administration and team-building part, where everyone works on the development and workings of the local government.
The second part is in ensuring the decision-makers have no conflict of interests. What we have done is that non-exectuve members of local councils are not allowed to be in the tender committee. That means all paid officials are in the tender committees, but all selected (officials) will do the monitoring on all the processes and decision makings of the tender process. The other side, the rest of the council, will act as oversight.
The oversight committee makes sure everything’s in order. Once they have made the decision, they review and make sure that they are in order, and so forth. This has already started. Of course there are teething problems. Some of the non-executive officials selected felt that they were not being recognised. They say they can handle it. But we wanted to test this idea. The question of check and balance, we wanted to test it.
That, I think, has started to lead to more openness. The non-council members would say, I want the tender to be posted, I want it to be open. Why did you give this? There are a lot of questions. If we continue to do that, we will minimise (corruption). I’m not saying we can eliminate it, but we can minimise it.
But we get into some very complicated situations. There are some contracts worth RM20,000 and below that will not be totally done on a tender basis. If you tender everything, there is so much work to be done for a small job. So they have limited tender. Not open tenders, but limited tenders, for those contract of less than RM20,000.
But there’s the problem with Class F contractors. Class F contractors are in limited numbers, and there was a huge uproar over the perception that we were giving the contracts back to the same people (who benefitted from the previous state administration).
I have requested (exco in charge of Islamic affairs, Malay culture, infrastructure and public amenities) Dr Hassan Mohd Ali to get all those interested in getting contracts of this nature to register with Selangor Public Works Department so that we can give opportunities to a lot of people who do not even have this Class F (status) as the federal government had closed this thing.
There will be opportunities for other people. It takes one or two months to get this going. We are trying to resolve it. But for tenders above that, (the open tender process) seems already in place.
Open and transparent tenders?
Open and I think we are very proud to say we get value for money. There is no such thing as people getting a tender and getting 30 or 40 percent out of it. We get value for money. Hopefully, if things are managed well, we not only save the local government money, but also, they get real work being done. Cutting grass, for example, they get real acres per amount of money they pay.
There was a tangle over the issue of billboards…
It’s a big issue. I don’t think it’s now an easy issue to solve because the contracts have been signed, and for whatever reason, the parties also have a right to take a case against the other party. But we established that it really is an unfair contact where you have an annual approval but can get it extend for 10 years. Which means you ignore the annual approval because you have it extended for 10 years with automatic (yearly) approvals.
But all these (reviews) require reading the agreements and so on. In the end, we decided that the issuance of TOLs (temporary occupation licence) for that will be done by the local councils. Before, it was done at the district office. Now there will be no duplicating. Now, we say, ‘No. Now, there’s only an annual contract.’
These are the small issue that we have to unwind. I think unwinding agreements is quite tedious.
Yes. If it is proven to have been fraudulently done, then…
Not only when it has been proven to be fraudulent, but also when they’re proven to have negative effects. Because of the bureaucracy, the so-called mandated delegation, some said they signed in good faith.
So we have an issue. Very quickly, before the end of the year, we should have resolve all this. A few local councils have resolved their problems.
Is anybody supervising all this very strictly?
Oh, yes. In fact, the local council members’ (contracts) are up for review. We say, ‘you are only appointed for one year subject to review. We understand the expectations and also the tasks of the councillors.
In view of the expectations of the people towards council members, there is a greater demand now that there be elected councillors.
I think the main reasons for not introducing elections for council members is the costs and administration of the elections. We would have liked this activity to be done by the Election Commission because of the costs and all that. Then it will be from the consolidated account (granted to the states from the federal government). After all, it is for the benefit of democracy.
Have you made such demands to the Election Commission?
Yes, we have, but they say they are still struggling with (handling) the general elections.
But they wasted money (RM2 million) by buying the indelible ink and not using it.
If we want people to do work, we cannot hit them that hard. They won’t talk to us…
But people expect you to have local council elections…
Yeah. We wanted to do that, but there is a cost to it.
If it is for a good purpose, then you must have it.
Yeah, but will the public be willing to pay for it? This is the bigger thing. I think there are local councils which have the economies of scale.
Why don’t they combine (to conduct elections?)
Because of the district zoning and allocations, you cannot.Every year, every six months, we have the general meeting of states and federal govt with regards to local councils. We are working towards finding ways and means to resolve this problem of electability, and so forth.
What’s the reaction so far of the federal government?
It’s quite lukewarm.
In the Federal Territory, you are doing very well, with all these opposition people sitting there. They have already set a trend and a model for others to follow.
But even my experience as a parliamenterian at Bandar Tun Razak, I sometimes get frustrated and I have voiced my opinions of the quality of the (Kuala Lumpur) mayor…
Yes, he seems to be traveling overseas more often than…
… more than he is willing to work with parliamentarians and understand what the public wants a check and balance, if they feel the mayor is not telling them the real story. He has, in some ways, ignored all this. But in short..
The ten of you can bring him down, can’t you?
No. We have no power.
But as parliamentarians, you can raise the issue.
Yes. I think it’s getting on his nerves now. Coming back to this (issue of local elections), hopefully, we can class local councils in different groups (according to size), then we will do elections for the big ones and then on for the smaller ones. We are working on that.
By the time we are ready for the next general election, this can be arranged?
Well, we’ll see. I’m expecting it can be done.
The Indah Water sewerage services cost of RM6 per month. People are asking, when we pay assessment, all these charges for the services should be included.
I think we need really to review the privatisation of utilities. I think this is the bigger issue. I must say, the reason why our local councils do not have enough money for other things is due partly to the privatisation of waste disposal. At least one-third of it has gone to private pockets.
I have refused to pay because I told them my assessment includes payment for that service. For that, they have been sending me lawyer notices after lawyer notices.
But we, as a state, cannot act as individuals. We have to follow the steps. But I have voiced out and acted on it. We have to reorganise to make sure the customer (ratepayers) are taken care of. The customer must get value for money. Customers don’t mind paying, so long as they get what they pay for. That’s how we look at it.
As citizens when you have a problem, you should go straight to the government department. But still, even Pakatan says ‘We are solving the problems for this number of people. We got this done.’ Don’t you think this must be discouraged and encourage people to go straight to the government departments instead of through political parties?
I expect the civil servants to do their job for the people. That is my attitude. The more efficient they are, the more involvement is needed of other people. Of course, there are issues where government may not be able to appreciate. Civil servants are bound to the acts and ordinances, and all that. But that doesn’t mean they would not be able to collect all the issues and problems.
Having said that, there is also a case for the so-called councillors who are right now not elected or the assemblymen and parliamentarians to listen to these problems. The government servant will not have the luxury of time to listen to all irregular cases. For example, there is a dispute between two families with regards to the ownership of a land. When it comes to the civil servant, the civil servant will not have the luxury of time to listen to 20 people. Those issues need to be handled by people who are having a sense of how to do it. What we are going to do is, all the issues like paying rent and collecting pensions should not be handled by the assemblymen and so forth.
I think the concept for the future: the government goes to the people. The concept symbolised in the laptop. The district officer goes to the small village or coffee shop, opens his laptop, then resolves the issue. In the future, people will not go to the (government) office, the office comes to the people.
The people fear going to the government department.
The role of the KL mayor, for example, should be to go to the people rather than the people going to him. Then, the menteri besar can have a meeting not only at his office but he can go to Ijok and have his meeting there. But it takes a bit of time.
You try to create environment where people can go to the staff at the department to talk to them freely, but they fear making decisions (on their own).
Because they were not trained to decide. For example, if you go to the banks, it’s now an open thing and they will sort out for you your problems. We train the receptionist not to become only the receptionist, but to solve many of your cases and look at your problems.
We have not trained civil servants to do this. The way civil servants are assessed is on how many mistakes they make - not how much effort they do. As if when you don’t do wrong, and as long as you are not caught sleeping, you are alright. How do we change from that setting to the (optimal) productivity mode? Once people go into the productivity mode, there will be some error in what they’re doing.
I’m experiencing the limits of it. One of the greater limitations is the lack of information technology in this exercise. Once info-technology is incorporated in this exercise, then the implementation will become easier.
But for the technology to reach the ordinary people will take a longer time.
At one stage, people were saying it is impossible. But in 1979-1980, I had the experience of trying to record all the savers in Amanah Saham (Nasional). People said it cannot be done. After one year, I had 1.5 million clients. Manually, if you do it, you will be dead. But we showed: by Dec 30, we closed our accounts, updated all the books and accounts of unit holders by Dec 31, and by Jan 2, every account was updated and they were able to transact at any place in the whole of this country. It can be done. Of course, initially, it is a nightmare. But in the future…
Now we come to the issue of the expectations of Indians. I don’t want to make it an Indian matter but a Malaysian issue, where people think of the Pakatan having promised a lot with regards to licensing problems and a host of other issues. But now they say they seem to have been forgotten.
I think the issue is, we want to establish a system of priority of support: what we should do, who we should give priority to, and all that. Last time, the priority was what the government felt should be (the priority). If they wanted at one point to help the Indians, they’ll help the Indians. If they wanted to help the Chinese, they’ll help the Chinese. If they want to help the Malays, they’ll help the Malays.
What we are trying to establish a system where those people who need to be helped must be helped. Therefore, the requirement we set is to make sure that for the needy - we have benchmarked at those earning RM1,500 and below - I will have a database of such people and families. Then, I will give priority to those (earning) RM1,500 and below to be helped irrespective of colour or politics. That is starting to come into the picture.
The Ampang temple demolition. I want to ask a specific question: Have you given instructions to all local councils that it shall not be done?
We have, we have. After the Ampang case, we went back to everyone (and said): any demolition of places of worship must get the approval of the exco. They cannot demolish, though they can identify (which should be demolished). They can work with these people, give them notice so that those seeking to establish a place of worship without approval or on government land or forest reserve will either have to move out or make an application to the state (to be approved). The exco will have a committee to review it. No approval will be given at the local council level.
We will standardise the forms and the trustees will have to write a letter to the state. We will fine them if they extend the temple without an application. Once they have applied, the exco committee will decide.
What about the Ampang temple demolition?
The demolition was only after the exco had decided (that no demolitions will occur without approval of the exco).
So you have given written directives to all local councils not to…
Not to demolish.
The deputy chair of the Ampang local council was suspended.
And he has already been reinstated.
The exco for local councils suspended him for only one week.
So the suspension was meted out to him as a punishment?
Well, from our point of view, he had acted beyond, outside the directive. But it doesn’t mean his services should be terminated… you play hockey and you start hitting people, the referee will ask you to rest for 20 minutes.
They are talking of temples being on a list to be demolished…
No, no. What we are doing is basically trying to legalise. The question of monitoring, well, if you are not legalised, then you have a problem. This is what it’s all about. And anybody who is not on the list of legal temples will feel they will be demolished. If we do not legalise, then we’ll have a problem in the future. Let’s say they are on TOL land. The state may have to consider granting them the title. We do want people to start building temples and then trying to get these legalised.
Land is a state matter. When Tamil schools, or any school to be built in the state, is it the procedure for the education minister to require you to provide land? Have they made any such requests for you to provide land for such schools?
There are two or three ways of doing it. One way is when we develop more than 100 acres, then the planner will put, based on the ratio, three or four schools in the area. That’s one part of the equation.
There’s also the equation where we base the schools on the demographics of the area, and then we will put a certain allocation by the developer to the state for the purpose of the schools. That is part of the development process.
Why do we need the Federal government to get involved? Because of the funds, not for the land, but for the school itself. The state owns the land, the federal provides the funds for the building. That’s all there is to it. Usually, there will be enough planning in terms of the places.
So why are there so many complaints of Tamil schools not having enough land, without buildings, without funds…
I come from (plalntations group) Guthrie, where there were estate schools. The estate schools have always been temporary set ups. We have always given land for the schools. Land is not an issue. The issue is the location. Because of different families, the location may not be an ideal location for some members of the community.
But the Education Ministry sometimes says acquiring land is a troublesome job, the states are not willing to part with land…
If the state and federal governments are serious in their work, how on earth can you not acquire land? You have all the power at your disposal! They can acquire land on which a house stands and demolish it to make a road. There’s no issue (of government not be able to). It’s a question of whether you want to do it or not.
In the Rubber Research Institute Sungai Buloh estates measure 3,500-acre, they refuse to concede five acres for a school. Would you step in to do something about it?
The Rubber Research Institute is federally-owned, and acquiring federal land is different from acquiring private land.
The National Economic Consultative Council (Mapen) in its report made excellent recommendations in 1991 (for the post New Economic Policy era), including for Indians. But it has, since then, been sidelined. It has never been implemented.
The real truth behind that is, I was a chairman of one of the committees in 1991. I advocated that the government should be responsible for the schools, and all that. But I was told that because of the political nature of Barisan Nasional, they refused to accept that.
Another recommendation was that the Indians be given the same sort of affirmative action (as bumiputeras)…
We had no objections to that.
Yes, it is there in the report.
But of course, you have to follow certain rules so that you can manage that. You cannot have schools placed in every estate where only 50 people are residing. We have to get a certain density. The MIC refused to accept this arrangement. We cannot recommend that Tamil schools be built in all Tamil estates where there are only 50 people. There have been instances of 50 children in five classes with two teachers for all five classes. This has happened. We know it. I protested and said this was no good, because the teacher teaching Standard 5 will also be teaching Standard 3 and Standard 1. The Standard 5 boys will learn Standard 3 lessons because they’re much easier.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said he has the numbers needed to form a new government. Will you seek an audience with the King to show him proof that he has and ask him to decide?
We are working towards it. Anwar is very careful - we have to be very careful. Because any rushed action may end up in curtailing the democratic process. We do know Malaysia had that experience in 1969. It is not in our interests that by seeking to acquire government, people are deprived of democracy.
You think Barisan will resort to that kind of thing?
Well, you calculate the probability. You may say it is a small probability. But however small it is…
I’m among those who are not seeking to wrest control of the government at all costs. The people have to come first, and everything else should follow. Of course, we have a situation where once we do it, we have to go back to the people and decide whether you want us to be in power or not. There may have to be elections as early as possible to gain legitimate recognition for this new government.
But of course, in politics, the game is fluid. I do not have any experience in this. Logically, I can think. But politics is not logical. Taking over a corporation, I can handle. But taking over a government, you are handling different sets of groups of people.
Anwar has got a feel for it. By any imagination, would people have said five years ago or predicted that PAS, DAP and PKR would get together? But it has been translated into reality. For that, we have to give him (Anwar) credit. He feels he wants the steps to be correct.
He has got an idealism such that if you can get to rule the federal government, it would be better. But I am of the opinion that we have to be careful, that by taking over government, you do not trade in democracy.
You think it’s a factor that Anwar wants to be prime minister before (former PM) Dr Mahathir Mohamad dies?
This is my personal opinion: Anwar has gone through that process of life. He has in some way forgiven Mahathir for whatever Mahathir has done to him. But that doesn’t mean he will not pursue his ambition. Those are two different things. He wants to pursue his ambitions, but he has forgiven Mahathir publicly and, sometimes, even privately. Of course, he is not the same. I would have worst (feelings against Mahathir) if I were in his shoes and gone through that. But his ambition is that he wants to become a statesman.
I don’t think Anwar wants to hit back at him. If he wanted to hit him back, you do not have to be a public figure to do all that. But I think Mahathir should also appreciate the wisdom and maturity that Anwar has undergone. He has been trained by Mahathir through his own ways, of putting him through prison, and so on.
Anwar is a leader, you cannot take that away from him. Let him try. If he feels that doesn’t fit into the agenda, then good luck.
Pakatan weary of 1969, says MB
Monday, October 20, 2008
A VULTURE NAMED MAHATHIR
Statement from Dr Munawar Anees posted on The Might Of The Pen, October 19, 2008...
As a student I knew of the horrors of the Holocaust and other human tragedies, but merely as a distant thunder: the violation of human rights and crimes against humanity were only an abstract notion.
That was all fated to change with my arrest under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) of Malaysia, which allows for indefinite detention without trial. My crime? I had known Anwar Ibrahim, the deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia, as a close personal friend for many years. We shared and strove for a vision of life firmly rooted in human dignity. We struggled for building an intellectual and political milieu for free expression. Together, we subscribed to the idea of economic prosperity, gender and racial equality and a civil society.
Alas, the Malaysian dictator, Mahathir, under the growing burden of corruption and cronyism, conspired to halt the march of freedom. In order to build his fraudulent case against Anwar, Mahathir himself ordered my arrest.
My kidnapping and detention by the infamous Malaysian Special Branch taught me how it feels to be forcibly separated from one’s wife and children. How it feels to be searched and seized, disallowed to make phone calls, handcuffed, blindfolded, stripped naked, driven in an animal cage, shaven bald, endlessly interrogated, humiliated, drugged, deprived of sleep, physically abused. What it’s like to be threatened, blackmailed, tormented by police lawyers, brutalized to make a totally false confession, hospitalized for a consequent heart ailment, and treated as a psychiatric patient with symptoms of Stockholm syndrome.
Barely surviving on a meager diet of rancid rice and chicken along with 12 medicines a day, I spent nearly four months handcuffed around the clock to my hospital bed, under the watchful eyes of the prison guards.
Thereafter, my ability to speak, read and write took a considerable time to show signs of recovery. Short-term memory lapses were frequent. I existed in a fluid state in which suicidal tendencies, depression and despair were punctuated by fits of rage and indignation.
Weekly visits of less than an hour by my wife, Nadia, with our young children — Aisha and Omran — were my only contact with the outside world and the only inspiration to live on.
In collusion with the lawyer appointed on my behalf by the police, the Malaysian authorities refused the legal assistance of my choice, coercing me not to mount an appeal against the court verdict and threatening me with greater punishment under new charges if I didn’t co-operate.
Simultaneously, Nadia constantly endured police harassment, wiretapping and disruption of our e-mail and bank accounts. Some of our friends were met with the same fate and were compelled to abandon us when we needed them most.
But, in attempting to scare off and alienate my friends, how terribly mistaken were Malaysian autocrats in aping gross Gestapo tactics. How they underestimated the temper of freedom in so many places around the world, above all among friends in the West.
Floodgates of human compassion were opened when the futurist author Alvin Toffler, who Mahathir asked to advise him on a pet high-technology project, sent a message of protest to the Malaysian leader within 72 hours of my capture. In a major interview with the Western press, Mahathir even felt it necessary to make assurances — unfulfilled, of course — about my well being.
With every passing day, the rising tide of concern for my plight seemed to personify the words of Elie Wiesel:
“Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor. Never the victim. Never the tormented.”
Friends and strangers alike took a stand and support began to mushroom everywhere. Nadia related to me in the hospital how Amnesty International had declared me a “prisoner of conscience,” and how Pen International adopted me as a “writer in prison.” Against all odds, two prominent Malaysian lawyers, Manjeet Singh Dhillon and Balwant Singh Siddhu, offered their services unconditionally. To top it all, an international coalition — Friends of Dr. Anees — came into existence in defence of my rights. The core group of Naseer Ahmad, Baseer Hai, Safir Rammah, Jamal Mubarak, Anees Ahmad and Naeem Siddiqui mounted a media campaign with phenomenal success.
What touched my heart was that the person, Kamal Mubarak, who set up the Web site had never met me in person. From the depths of my confinement, I could see the magic of human compassion had begun to defeat oppression.
The pinnacle was reached after my release in the warm hug laced with watery eyes of an Amnesty friend in Toronto, Margaret John, who witnessed a pledge of solidarity between me and Devan Nair, the former president of Singapore, for we had come to share a similar fate.
My victimization at the hands of Mahathir’s “Asian values” has transformed me in another way. All my adult life, like so many in the Muslim world, I have suspected under every nook and cranny some conspiracy by the West to keep us down. Yet, in this seminal experience of my life, my friends in the West succeeded in saving me, while Mahathir, a Muslim, did everything to destroy me. And he is trying to do the same to Anwar again through his obliging courts on totally fabricated charges.
Mahathir has demonstrated that, though a proclaimed Muslim, his heart is blind to compassion. Tyranny is the hallmark of his bankrupt concept of “Asian values.”
My tragedy, and that of my friend Anwar, ought to make our fellow Muslims think very hard when they ponder the West and its role in the world. As we set out to shape our collective destiny in the 21st century, will the values of Mahathir or Jefferson serve us best? Mahathir himself made that choice for me. Sic semper tyrannis.*
* Sic semper tyrannis is a Latin phrase meaning "thus, ever (or always), to tyrants." It is sometimes mistranslated as "Death to tyrants." The phrase is a shortened version of Sic semper evello mortem Tyrannis, which translated means "Thus always death comes to tyrants." (Wikipedia)
at 3:31 PM
Labels: Anwar Ibrahim, BN corruption, cronyism, Internal Security Act, Mahathir Mohamad, Mahathiritis, Munawar A. Anees
I well remember Munawar's trial when he was brought in half-drugged and even the judge had to express some misgivings as to whether he was fit for trial and in full possession of all his faculties.
And that these strange lawyers appeared out of nowhere to defend him and advised him to plead guilty.
If Muslims can do this to their own, what hope is there for others?
Now is the time for Munawar to file a case of false arrest & conspiracy against Dr.M, the lawyers concerned, the AG's office and the BN Govt.
He must not remain silent!!
October 20, 2008 5:16:00 PM MYT
Padan muka said...
padan muka kau!
that's the power of Mahathir. Anwar, LKS, Hadi..bring it on.he will destroy them into ashes.
October 20, 2008 6:59:00 PM MYT
Mr. X said...
You guys should read his joke today ... something "I am glad Malaysia is PARED from the global financial meltdown!"
I'd give him couple of dukus if I can't the time later...
October 20, 2008 8:50:00 PM MYT
Mahathir is not strong. By using state institutions to crush opponents, he has taken cowardice to a new dizzy level. If you want to compete with your opponents, then come to the playing round with the same tools. Using state institutions doesn't make you strong in anyway. It is the culture of poltroons to carry batons. Bravery is all different from that infantile, base culture of Mahathir that thrives in an unadulterated hatred. And boy, Hadi Awang, Anwar and Lim Kit Siang are in the ground influencing Malaysia despite his crude cowardly tactics in the past. They are brave and refuse to surreder or cry wolf and resign whenever their wishes are not entertained ala Mahathir who left Umno when he failed to dislodge Dollah only for his wife and driver to join him. Sheesh. It took Hadi, Anwar and Lim to dislodge Abdullah by bringing Malaysians on their side. And you will see one of them as the PM sooner than you can imagine.
Mahathir thought they will surrender to his cowardly and venal tactics but he forget the Kiswahilin saying: "Ukaona simba imenyeshewa, ukadhani ni paka" (You saw a drenched lion and you mistook it for a cat). Mahathir thought lions like Anwar, Lim and Hadi were pussies after he trampled upon them using brute force. You can bet your last penny that they were not. Stupid!
October 21, 2008 1:41:00 AM MYT
Old turkey buzzard.With lips bent downwards like a bow is a sure sign of an evil and a reculcitrant old man!
October 21, 2008 11:52:00 AM MYT
Ah Tom Chai said...
Mahatiu is most probably the biggest hypocrite in all of South East Asia, the bugger preaches about the ills of corruption yet he was the father of all corruptions while he was the PM; the pretender talks about democracy but he was the most oppressive dictator Malaysia ever had.
The now 'defender of rule of law' was the one who dismantle the integrity and independence of judiciary !
October 21, 2008 12:42:00 PM MYT
A vulture of the highest order?
One that preys on the living and not the dead...
Strange and sickening...
March 8... and months thereafter
This afternoon, Kee Thuan Chye came back to Little Penang Street Market to read a few chapters from his book, March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke up. He placed a quote on the front cover: "If the system is flawed, I believe it should be reformed, not blindly tolerated or accepted with a helpless shrug or defended with excuses -- by the powers that be, the media, the man in the street."
Zaharom Nain of USM who wrote the chapter "Long Way from Media Reform"
After reading excerpts of a few chapters, he ended the session with these four paragraphs on Page 34:
(For the first time in my life, I, too, got involved by signing up as a polling agent. Joseph Lim, whom I came to know when we were signing up, said he was motivated to volunteer despite his in-laws' warning against it for fear of May 13. I had never been so actively engaged, never even so much as distributed campaign flyers for any party before, but this time I felt the compulsion to take part.)
Penangites are probably the proudest on the night of March 8. They succeeded in what that had set out to do; they gave the Opposition a virtual landslide victory, conretised in a two thirds majority in the State Assembly that astounded the winners themselves. University lecturer Dr Mustafa K. Anwar choked with jubilation when he wrote to a friend in the US early the next morning: "I'm so proud to be a Malaysian!" Freelance trainer Lucille Das, 60, said with pride: "To borrow a metaphor from the Christian world, we in Penang feel like an 'Easter people', hopeful; or like Lazarus, given a new lease on life." My old friend Tan Kok Hin, a Penang anaesthetist, joined the hordes at the Red Rock Hotel to wait for the chief minister-designate to appear for a press conference. When Lim Guan Eng and his colleagues appeared at around 1 a.m., the roar of the crowd was deafening. Said Kok Hin:"And then when Guan Eng, Zahrain (Mohamed Hashim, a PKR state leader) and Ramasamy held their hands together high up in the air, it was a touching moment to relish -- as it reminded me of the multi-racial Malaysia I used to know." I can relate to that; Kok Hin and I are contemporaries, and we did indeed grow up in a different time, a different Malaysia, which disappeared after 1969.
And so when I got back home at around 5 a.m. on March 9, after having waited for the announcement of the official results of my parliament and state constituencies, after having shed tears of joy innumerable times and communed with fellow believers in the cause of a greater Malaysia, never wanting the historic moment to end, knowing we had done our teen-weeny bit and realising that perhaps we could now look to a brighter future, I took out my mobile phone and wrote an SMS that I then promptly sent out to all the people I had been in touch with via this medium in the days leading up to March 8 and on election night itself, sharing information and sentiments, frustrations and joy.
I ended the message with one word: "Merdeka".
Those are the words of a true-blood, born-and-bred Penangite capturing the moods and feelings of fellow Penanigtes who saw it all with their eyes wide open. It truly takes a Penangite to understand the other, though Chye impressed me more as a practising Malaysian in his worldview, thoughts and deeds than the average nepotistic Penang lang. You can find that radiates so voluptuously in his novels, plays and theatre.
LensaPress photos by Jeff Ooi
I could feel and reminisce March 8 and the wee hours that flowed into the next day, for I, too, was locked up in a little room in Red Rock Hotel doing the job of a backroom boy, keyboard-writing and translating part of the speech for the Chief Minister-in-waiting.
Seven months later, when the advance copy of Thuan Chye's book reached my desk, I fast-forwarded to read the chapter in which he interviewed Guan Eng and I sat in. It was done at the corridor of the Parliament when it was in session. Nothing earth-shattering save for records.
Flipping back to part one of the book, titled: CHANGE. I often used those four paragraphs of Chye's words, those he read to a small crowd at Farquhar Street yesterday, to remind myself of the long, tedious and treacherous road to reforms and renewals ahead. The federal government agencies, and countless bureaucrats at the State Secretary's office and the local government, are still jamming us from this process of reforms and renewals at the state level.
But with an ounce of faith and a gramme of optimism, there must be so many ways to skin the cat and we shall retreat not.
March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up is published by Marshall Cavendish and is now available at all major bookstores, retailing at RM39.90.
Kee’s other works include plays such as The Big Purge and The Swordfish, Then the Concubine, which was shortlisted at the 21st International Playwriting Festival 2006; and novels 1984 Here & Now, The Big Purge and We Could **** You Mr Birch.
Posted by Jeff Ooi on October 26, 2008 11:25 PM | Permalink
source: The Malaysian Insider
By Debra Chong
PUTRAJAYA, October 28, 2008 — All he wants is for his story to be heard in court, a chance to clear his name from the stigma of a conviction for sodomy, a crime he says he did not commit.
Dr. Munawar outside the courtroom before his case. — Picture by Choo Choy MayOn Thursday, the Federal Court will decide if it has the jurisdiction to review the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision which threw out Dr Munawar Anees’ application for an appeal over a sodomy conviction which dates back about a decade.
Pakistan-born Dr. Munawar is a former speech writer to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when the latter held the post of Deputy Prime Minister. He was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court alongside Sukma Darmawan, Anwar’s adopted brother, for performing “intercourse against the order of nature” with Anwar. Both men were found guilty and sentenced to six months’ jail in 1998. Dr. Munawar served the sentence.
However, he then filed an appeal against his conviction in the KL High Court. He claimed that the plea of guilty entered in his name during the initial trial was made under duress. He has since attempted to obtain a hearing for his appeal in the High Court but failed.
Today, his lawyer, Manjeet Singh Dhillon, told the three-member Federal Court that he was not asking the Federal Court to reverse the decision or set aside the conviction made by the High Court.
“I’m asking the court to let his appeal be heard in the High Court on its own merits,” Manjeet said.
“It has never been heard in the High Court,” he added.
Manjeet told The Malaysian Insider that on the day the appeal was brought up in the High Court, Dr. Munawar was absent from the hearing as he was away in the US — where he is based — and the presiding judge, Justice Wahab Patail, had struck out the appeal before hearing Dr. Munawar’s submissions.
Dr. Munawar, now 60, is a project management consultant with the US-based John Templeton Foundation. He flew into Malaysia alone just two days ago for the Federal Court hearing and is staying at a hotel in Petaling Jaya.
“I have been seeking justice for the past 10 years,” Dr. Munawar told The Malaysian Insider outside the courtroom before the hearing.
“The system has not allowed me to say what I want to say. It has given judgment and held me in detention, illegally, on false charges.
“It has been a traumatic story for the past 10 years, psychologically, physically, financially. My kids grew up under this fear and smear system. My reputation has been tarnished. What I’m looking for is, yes, that there will be a moment of justice,” said Dr. Munawar.
ACA Report Lodged Againts Najib
Posted on Oktober 26, 2008. Filed under: Angkatan Muda, KeADILan, Pemuda Pakatan Rakyat, Politik |
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 24 - The Pakatan Rakyat Youth wings today lodged a report at the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) headquarters here against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for alleged involvement in the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter helicopter deal.
“We want them to open an investigation against Najib,” said PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar who led the group which included DAP Youth secretary Anthony Loke and Pas Youth secretary Ahmad Sabki Yusuf.
The three representatives said they submitted several documents to assist the ACA, including a research paper over a similar purchase for the military helicopters by Brazil but for a significantly reduced sum.
Malaysia is reported to have signed a letter of intent to acquire 12 Eurocopter EC727 Cougar helicopters for a sum of RM2.3 billion while Brazil paid US$1.2 billion for 50 units of the same model.
The PR Youth want the ACA to mount an investigation over the price discrepancy in two Eurocopter deals as well as to investigate a letter of intent regarding another complaint letter purportedly sent by one Datuk Zahar Hashim, the chairman of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd which is the local representative for a Russian helicopter company.
In his letter, Zahar, a retired airforce captain, had claimed that Eurocopter had been awarded the contract to replace the ageing Nuri fleet even though it was the most expensive bid among the companies which tendered for the contract.
According to Loke, they were the first group to lodge an official complaint against the DPM over this particular matter even though the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament had spoken about the issue recently.
“PAC is only a security filter with no investigative power. The most suitable body to undertake this investigation is the ACA,” said Loke, who is also the MP for Rasah.
Shamsul added that the onus is now on ACA to take action.
“We told them to be proactive. There is no reason for the ACA not to open an investigation,” he said.
Shamsul also called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to live up to his promise to implement his promised reforms, particularly in dealing with corruption, before he leaves office in March next year.
- The Malaysian Insider
Spotlighting the Abdullah years
30 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By N Shashi Kala
IT'S been exactly five years since Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as prime minister. Admittedly, he had some big shoes to fill — his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reshaped the country's physical and psychological landscape in his quest to fulfil a particular vision of development by 2020.
(© Wan Leonard)
But aside from the gleaming towers and the Malaysia Boleh! sloganeering, there was also growing disenchantment with Mahathir's iron rule. His 22 years saw, among others, the suppression of dissent, the rise in cronyism, the growing prevalence of money politics within Umno and corruption within government.
He brooked no opposition, whether within his own party or among critics of his policies, be they the media, opposition politicians or the judiciary.
So, when he decided to step down, handing over to his chosen successor Abdullah — his fourth deputy after Tun Musa Hitam, Tun Ghaffar Baba and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim — his decision was greeted at first with shock, followed by much relief.
Kinder, gentler politician
Abdullah, who was known throughout his long political career as a clean politician, took office on 31 Oct 2003 in an atmosphere of good will and much anticipation. He promised a kinder, gentler form of governance. He vowed to do away with corruption and cronyism, and to put the people's interests first. To counter the threat posed by PAS, he put forth a progressive face for the religion by espousing Islam Hadhari.
In his first address in Parliament on 3 Nov 2003, Abdullah outlined his vision for the country, pledging to continue with his predecessors' policies. More importantly, he called on legislators, administrators, the private sector, political parties, the media and Malaysian citizens from all walks of life to "work with" him.
For a while at least, his message, delivered in his soft-spoken, almost cajoling manner, seemed to work. There was a renewed sense of hope for a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, with a prime minister who promised to be PM for all.
It was this pledge of reform to reduce corruption and improve racial unity that helped sweep the Barisan Nasional (BN) to its best ever showing at the 11th general election in 2004. The BN won 198 out of 220 seats, wiping out the opposition parties and leaving PAS holding on to Kelantan with only the slimmest of margins.
Buoyed by the huge mandate, Abdullah could easily have leveraged this to sweep out the vestiges of the Mahathir era from his cabinet. Yet, despite expectations that he would drop several unpopular ministers who were closely aligned with Mahathir, Abdullah kept them.
Despite the BN manifesto promises of security, peace and
prosperity in the 2008 general election, the coalition lost its
two-thirds majority in Parliament (Source: bn2008.org.my)
On the corruption front, he did make some headway, at least in the beginning. There were a few notable arrests such as those of former head of Perwaja Steel Tan Sri Eric Cheah and former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam. Even Umno seemed determined to clean up, with party vice-president Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad charged with money politics.
(Cheah was acquitted in 2007 while the trial of Kasitah, who resigned from his post after being charged with criminal breach of trust, is ongoing. Isa resigned from his party post on 17 Oct 2004 after being found guilty by the Umno disciplinary board.)
But after the initial flurry of arrests, Abdullah, reacting to pressure from within his party, seemed to lose his nerve and called back the hounds.
It didn't help matters that Abdullah was also prone to flip-flopping on major issues, such as the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the memo by non-Muslim cabinet ministers on religious conversions and the interfaith commission.
The recent changes in the date for the transition of power to his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, is another example, though this may have more to do with the infighting within Umno than anything else.
Controlling the media
Abdullah's administration also saw the media, cowed from years of Mahathirism, attempting to reassert themselves in the role of keeping the government honest. Newspapers such as theSun began to highlight cases of abuse of power, while on the internet, news portals and blogs began taking a critical look at the government's failings.
But press freedom under Abdullah was only skin deep — the administration began to clamp down on the media, sending out show cause letters to the press and in some instances threatening the use of the Printing Presses and Publications Act. In the latest incident, three newspapers - theSun, Sin Chew Daily and Suara Keadilan — received show cause letters on 12 Sept 2008.
Raja Petra Kamarudin's wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, speaking to the media
at an anti-ISA candlelight vigil in Bukit Aman on 13 Sept 2008
Additionally, the Abdullah administration detained Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng on the same day under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Tan was later released. Another blogger, Shieh "Kickdefella" Syed Azidi Syed was arrested for sedition later that month.
During Abdullah's premiership, Malaysia's ranking in the Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index dropped from 92 in 2006 to 132 in 2008.
One of Abdullah's major changes was the discontinuation of grandiose projects, namely the so-called crooked bridge to Singapore which had been championed by Mahathir. But the former prime minister would not take this lying down and soon began an increasingly acrimonious war of words with the Abdullah government.
In the beginning at least, Abdullah chose to keep an "elegant silence" but the venomous attacks from Mahathir did not cease. A reconciliation meeting on 22 Oct 2006 failed to achieve anything, and Mahathir continued to be Abdullah's worst critic. It culminated with Mahathir's call for a stronger opposition in the run-up to the 8 March 2008 elections.
But even before then, the tide had turned against Abdullah because his administration was seen to have failed to fulfil the promises he had made. People started to take to the streets. There was the Bersih (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) rally on 10 Nov 2007, followed by another rally organised by the Hindu Action Rights Force (Hindraf) on 25 Nov. Both rallies were dispersed with force, and in the case of Hindraf, five leaders were detained under the ISA.
The backlash, especially from the non-Malay Malaysian community who had lost faith in the prime minister, was dramatic. When the results were tallied for the March general election, Abdullah and the BN had lost their two-thirds majority, besides losing Selangor, Penang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur to the opposition.
He faced immediate calls to resign, but managed to fend off the wolves within his party by agreeing in June 2008 to a succession plan with Najib, to take effect in mid-2010.
But after the 26 Aug 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election, which marked Anwar's return to Parliament, Abdullah faced calls for an even earlier exit, culminating with his decision on 8 Oct to not contest the Umno presidency.
Transition of power
Abdullah said he would stay on until the Umno elections in March 2009, and then hand over the reins to the incoming party president and BN chair, who traditionally becomes the prime minister.
Until then, Abdullah is intent on carving out a legacy for himself as a reformist. He has several major reforms he hopes to see through before leaving office — to reform the judiciary and enhance the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)'s effectiveness, as well as to widen the social safety net for Malaysians.
These initiatives involve tabling two bills in Parliament — one on the setting up of a Judicial Appointments Commission, and the other on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. He also hopes to push through a bill to establish a Special Complaints Commission to Enhance the Effectiveness and Integrity of Law Enforcement Agencies.
Whether he can push through the reforms, some of which are opposed by Umno members themselves, in the remaining months is left to be seen. But in the final analysis, Abdullah's administration will be remembered for its failure to deliver on his promises.
Another one bites the dust!
As they say, the truth would eventually prevail. To those who were skeptical, how everything turned out in the end shows it all. Justice Ian “Boot Camp Judge” Chin had to throw in his towel.
The Star has this piece:
Friday October 31, 2008
‘Boot camp’ judge resigns
KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court judge who revealed the existence of a boot camp for judges back in 1997 has tendered his resignation and will leave office on Dec 1.
Datuk Ian Chin wrote a letter to the King on July 16 to resign and went on leave on Aug 21.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department T. Murugiah said this in reply to Tian Chua (PKR - Batu) who asked whether the Government had taken steps to investigate the accusations made by Chin against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
With Chin’s resignation, there was no need to investigate the matter, said Murugiah.
Earlier, Murugiah told Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (BN - Jerlun) that the Government did not intend to make representation to the King to put Chin before a tribunal.
On July 15, several MPs, while debating on the Judges Remuneration (Amendment) Bill, criticised Chin in the Dewan Rakyat over his war of words with Dr Mahathir.
Some questioned his revelation, made only after Dr Mahathir had stepped down, and some called for him to be sacked for being “judicially immature”.
It prompted Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to intervene. He asked Karpal Singh to read out Article 127 of the Federal Constitution and Parliament’s Standing Order 36(8) to remind MPs not to debate on judges’ behaviour unless a substantive motion was moved with the consent of 55 MPs.
In June, Chin caused a stir when he claimed that Dr Mahathir had made a thinly veiled threat against judges at the Judges Conference on April 24, 1997.
He claimed Dr Mahathir had threatened to sack judges who failed to deliver judgments to his or the Government’s liking.
Chin had also said that Dr Mahathir was dissatisfied over his unwillingness to award astronomical sums in damages in two libel suits in 1997, and that “errant” judges had been sent to a boot camp in an “attempt to indoctrinate them to hold the view that the Government’s interest was more important than all else”.
Dr Mahathir, in his blog, said the judges were never sent to a boot camp.
When this sensationalized story was brought up by this attention seeking judge, lawyer Matthias Chang responded. He made a Police report against Chin. The one time political secretary to the fourth Prime Minister even dared the Chief Justice to step up and tell the truth on what Chin had claimed.
Then Tun Dr. Mahathir himself called for Chin should be investigated in a special tribunal, at a purposed press statement, in his wonderful private office on the Level 86 of Tower One, KLCC, to tell his story.
This is definitely great news for all.
Regardless, the special tribunal to investigate now citizen Ian Chin should continue, despite his premature departure from the bench. Let the truth be told, like how it should have been; on the stand. Let the judge be judged. Then, we all will get our fair share of what people like Ian Chin supposed to do, instead of being a sensational pseudo politician. The decision he made with regards on cases he personally had vested interests must be exposed.
Another thirteen million Ringgit question ought to be asked here, where is the Bar Council in this? Will these loud minorities behaving like a righteous majority and monopoly on opinion, take their usual apparent biasness stance and put up a really flimsy justification, again?
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Published in: Commentaryon November 1, 2008 at 12:12 am
Accountability and the Attorney-Generalsource: nstonline
November 9, 2008
by Raja Aziz Addruse and Ding Jo-Ann**
THE recent challenge by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s defence team against the validity of the Attorney-General’s certificate to transfer his sodomy case from the Sessions Court to the High Court has again highlighted the need to seriously examine the role of the Attorney-General.
The Attorney-General, it was argued, was not competent to issue the certificate as a report, which had been made against him for alleged tampering with evidence in Anwar’s first sodomy case in 1988, was still being investigated. The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court ruled last Friday that the certificate was invalid.
The scope of the Attorney-General’s powers in Malaysia has long been a subject of debate and controversy. He is the chief legal adviser to the government and is responsible for advising ministers involved in legal proceedings in their official capacity.
But as public prosecutor, he is also entrusted with power, which he uses at his discretion, to start, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.
His dual role has posed a real problem. A conflict of interest is bound to arise if he has to institute criminal proceedings against members of the government.
The ongoing Altantuya Shaariibuu prosecution, surrounded by rumours involving important political figures, is a case in point.
Some countries in the Commonwealth, such as Australia and Canada, do not have such a problem. There the job of reviewing evidence, and beginning and conducting prosecution of offences, is entrusted to a Director of Public Prosecutions.
Since he is unencumbered by the sort of duties and functions the Attorney-General has, he is kept away from direct government influence and is able to act with impartiality in assessing whether or not to prosecute a case. His decision is based on whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction on the evidence available and whether it is in the public interest for the prosecution to begin.
The Attorney-General in such a system would be a government minister. This would remove the structural defect in the present Malaysian system which constantly invites accusations that the Attorney-General is motivated by bias or is being selective in instituting criminal proceedings.
If he were made a part of the political party in power, the Attorney-General would not need to pretend to be neutral. Though not directly involved in deciding whether to institute criminal prosecutions, he should be responsible for overseeing and superintending the prosecution services of the country and should answer to Parliament for the conduct of the Director of Public Prosecutions and of his department.
There is currently no formal mechanism requiring the Attorney-General to account for his conduct in relation to prosecutions of criminal proceedings. In spite of the wide powers he wields, he has no duty to report to the prime minister, cabinet or Parliament.
There has been no call for him to account for the failure of a number of high-profile prosecutions, which commenced with much fanfare but ended up being a waste of public funds.
Last year, Tan Sri Eric Chia, the former managing director of Perwaja Steel, was acquitted after 43 days of trial without his defence being called.
In acquitting the accused, the presiding High Court judge heavily criticised the conduct of the prosecution, especially their failure to call several key witnesses who had obvious knowledge of the material elements of the case.
With reference to particular key witnesses from Japan, the judge questioned whether it was the Japanese witnesses who were “reluctant” to come or “the prosecution was the one reluctant to bring them here”.
The prosecution of Koh Kim Teck, a businessman, and his two bodyguards, who were charged with murdering 14-year-old Chinese national Xu Jian Huang, and who were acquitted in 2005, is another case in point.
After a trial lasting 36 days and with 39 prosecution witnesses having given evidence, the presiding judge found that the prosecution had not brought forward any evidence which could implicate the accused in the murder and that there had been no “prima facie” case made out to warrant the defence being called to answer the charge.
The prosecution had apparently omitted to call material witnesses, including the investigating officer for the case and Koh’s driver who had reportedly given a cautioned statement that he had seen both bodyguards throw Xu into the swimming pool where he was eventually found. Two other material witnesses who were present in the house were also not called.
Yet another was the prosecution for the murder of Noritta Samsudin, where the accused was acquitted after 29 days of trial. The prosecution appealed against the acquittal right up to the Federal Court.
In dismissing the appeal, the Federal Court noted that there was a gaping hole in the prosecution’s case, where it failed to sufficiently account for the likelihood of there being another person present at Noritta Samsudin’s condominium unit who could also have committed the crime. No one else has been charged for the murder.
Any discussion on expensive and long-running criminal trials would not be complete without reference to the Irene Fernandez trial which spanned seven years and took over 300 days to complete.
It is still not over for the Tenaganita director, who was convicted in 2003 of publishing false news about the ill-treatment of detainees in camps for illegal immigrants. Her appeal against this conviction to the High Court has been the subject of numerous delays and has yet to be heard.
The Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial will also go on record as one of the longest trials in Malaysian history.
After more than 150 days, Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted of abetting the murder and discharged on Oct 31, while the two police officers charged with her murder have been called to enter their defence.
As it is the taxpayers’ funds that ultimately pay for all criminal prosecutions, they have a vested interest in knowing how such cases, which appear to be ill-prepared, can be brought to trial.
It is imperative that the Attorney General’s wide powers be subject to close scrutiny and not be permitted to be exercised arbitrarily.
If the government is truly serious in wanting to improve and restore public confidence in the administration of justice in this country, it must be prepared to review the presently unfettered powers of the Attorney-General.
**Raja Aziz Addruse is a former Bar Council president and former president of the National Human Rights Society (Hakam). Ding Jo-Ann is a Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer.
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Posted in Democracy, Judiciary
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Both should take immediate leave until further notice. No investigation should be hampered! In a crude way, GET LOST!
This is the Rakyat’s call, unanimously!
By: panca on November 9, 2008
at 1:05 pm
“It is imperative that the Attorney General’s wide powers be subject to close scrutiny and not be permitted to be exercised arbitrarily.”—Raja Addruse and Jo-Ann.
May I add that it is long overdue. We have allowed this incumbent Gani Patail to get away with a lot of things over the last 2 decades or so, including allegedly fixing evidence against Anwar Ibrahim (1998) at the behest of Tun Dr. Mahathir. Since then, things has gone to his head, thanks to the incompetent sleepy head, Badawi.
I hope the leader of the Opposition and his colleagues in Parliament will initiate some moves to curb the arbitrary powers of the AG by seeking to amendment the relevant provisions in our constitution at the appropriate time. Not now, of course because we know that idiots like that Bintulu Tiong and Kinabatangan idiot Bung Mokhtar and others in the BN Backbenchers Club are supporting the government, even when they know that the BN government abuses power with impunity.
By: Mohd Islah on November 9, 2008
at 1:11 pm
Panca and Islah, I concur with your views on this matter.
Let us hear from our legal genuis in New York, Mr. Bean JD, and our philosopher from the Land of the Hornbills, Salak on this important matter. Salak will probably respond first since Mr. Bean is still in slumberland (1.20 am, November 9, 2008). —Din Merican
By: dinobeano on November 9, 2008
at 1:18 pm
Look guys! Abuse of prosecutorial powers is dead serious. But who is going to prosecute the prosecutor - the PM and DPM?? I hope when PR takes over the federal government, Anwar would not disappoint us by not taking action against this guy for abuse of his prosecutorial powers.
We need to know what he knows! We know that he is a collector of ladies’ panties particularly those that carry the words, “Najib was here first. Rosmah was second”. What else does he know that we do not??
Mr. Bean JD, you are awake!! AG Patail knows the consequences. He cannot be that dumb. Najib can protect him, but for how long. I would personally love to hang him this abuse. Let us wait and see. The fella might seek asylum somewhere when Anwar takes over… maybe he will work in a ranch as a cowhand in Argentina or disappear into the Amazon and be among the anacondas.—Din Merican