Challenge to make Sabah a model of corruption-free administration instead of topping the list among the most corrupt administrations in Malaysia
Recently, anti-corruption is in the news.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had finally acted against illegal logging activity in Sarawak, with the arrest of a senior police officer who is head of a police district headquarters in the State and believed to have received RM16,000 in bribes.
MACC has estimated some RM100 million are lost as a result of illegal logging activity in Sarawak, which is a puny figure compared to the tens of billions of ringgit garnered by corruption every year.
Last month, eight customs officers were charged in Kuala Lumpur with 28 separate counts of receiving bribery involving a total sum of RM34,400 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
These anti-corruption actions made quite a splash in the local media simply because there had been so little real anti-corruption news as distinct from propaganda to report for the past few years, even thought those arrested recently belong to the ‘flies” category in China’s anti-corruption campaign against “tigers and flies”. Read the rest of this entry »
The past month has continued to provide mounting evidence of the day-and-night difference in anti-corruption efforts between Malaysia and Indonesia, which should raise the red flag that it is a matter of time before Malaysia will be regarded internationally as lagging behind Indonesia in fighting corruption.
This is best illustrated by the contrasting headlines on anti-corruption in the two countries in the past month.
For instance, one of the most electrifying news on the anti-corruption front in Malaysia was the headline last month: “8 officers face 28 fresh charges in Customs bribery case” but this paled into insignificance when compared with the following headline on the fight against corruption in Indonesia a week earlier: “Ex-leader of Indonesia’s ruling party gets 8 years in jail for corruption, money laundering”
But what gives the feeling of the night-and-day difference in anti-corruption efforts between the two countries are the headlines in Indonesian newspapers on Wednesday like “Jokowi to replace eight prospective ministerial candidates following KPK`s recommendation”, following the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission)’s recommendation that the eight prospective Cabinet Ministers are “high risk” of being named graft suspects, and those yesterday like “Indonesia president submits new cabinet list” to KPK and “Eight new ministerial candidates still under KPK consideration: Jokowi”.
The gloom felt by Malaysians at the puny anti-corruption efforts are not relieved when they are inundated with disastrous, ambivalent or downright inane news headlines like “Malaysia one of the most corrupt nations, survey shows” (Sept. 27), “No plan to boost law to probe into ‘high-living’ civil servants” (Oct.8) and “Top cop looks to ordinary Malaysians to keep police in check” (Oct. 23). Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 25th 2014 | JAKARTA
Indonesia’s new president – Taking the reins
EVERYONE loves a politician with a common touch—except that politician’s security detail. After Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president, he and his vice-president, Jusuf Kalla, rode through central Jakarta to the presidential palace in an open horse-drawn carriage, their wives following along behind. Tens of thousands of well-wishers lined the path, banners saluting “the people’s president”. As ever, he reached out to them. Only the security men in black suits failed to look elated.
More hard-bitten observers did not share the crowd’s optimism. They set the simple, almost innocent demeanour of this grass-roots politician against the ruthlessness of the old guard he beat. It is determined to fight hard to preserve its wealth and privilege—and parties sympathetic to his opponent in the presidential election, Prabowo Subianto, control the legislature. Such observers are writing Jokowi off as a decent man but a political naif. Read the rest of this entry »
By Azly Rahman
Oct 24, 2014
Again, this question of migration has bored us to the point of death and dying and Sartrean nausea (see Jean Paul Sartre’s play La Nausee on the meaninglessness of concepts). Aren’t we all here in this land now, whether you like it or not? We just need to be good thinking and moral citizens and uphold the ideals of the constitution and live by the spirit of it. We don’t need to keep on manufacturing crises to sustain conflicts and produce new ones.
Why fight over whose grandpa or grandma was here first? Who knows what these interpretations of the history of migration should mean, but what is clear is one’s legal status and citizenship and what all of us have contributed and will contribute to the betterment of each other if not for this ‘imagined community’ and ‘nation-state’ of Malaysia.
I fear that these arguments about ‘pendatang’ will turn into us calling each other ‘binatang’, ‘menatang’, and ‘menate’ (as in Kelantan dialect). Not good for human progress.
Each citizen, lawful citizen, must be given the equal rights and privileges as Malaysian citizens, whether they have been a citizen yesterday or 10,000 days ago. There should be no discrimination in educational opportunity, welfare services, housing, or anything – these must come with the reward for loyalty. I hope we have read Rousseau’s idea of social contract, or at least understand how airlines give free miles as rewards.
So, let us quit arguing and move on. To those still producing these over-used and abused arguments, as if there are no intelligent things to argue about, I must say this: You are all wrong in framing your argument and asking the right questions. Read the rest of this entry »
Oct. 19, 2014
The ‘Jokowi Effect’ Could Be the Most Important Thing in Indonesia’s Elections
On Oct. 20, Indonesia inaugurates its first President truly of the people. Joko Widodo, known commonly as Jokowi, is unique in Indonesian presidential history because he comes from neither a politically elite nor a military background. Raised in a riverside slum, Jokowi ran a furniture-exporting business in the heartland city of Solo before he successfully ran for his hometown’s mayor in 2005. Two years ago, he was elected governor of Indonesia’s chaotic capital, Jakarta. Although he prevailed in the July presidential election against old-guard candidate Prabowo Subianto — a former general once married to the daughter of Indonesian dictator Suharto — Jokowi, 53, faces numerous challenges as he helms the world’s third largest democracy: Read the rest of this entry »
Mariam Mokhtar| October 24, 2014
Free Malaysia Today
The ulamas, like the political leaders, are obsessed with power and want Muslims to be at their mercy.
The most dangerous threat to the Malaysian government is not an invading army, a contagious disease, or a nuclear threat. It is the thinking Malay.
When young pharmacist Syed Azmi Alhabshi decided to organise the “I Want to Touch a Dog” event at Bandar Utama on October 19, he didn’t expect such a huge response. More than 1,000 people –Muslims and non-Muslims – turned up.
Whilst man and beast were having lots of fun, in other parts of the country temperatures were raised. Syed Azmi was perceived as a threat.
Syed Azmi may have united Malaysians but he was alienating some conservative Muslims in Malaysia. His innocent “dog touching event” is a defining moment in 21st Century Malaysian history. Read the rest of this entry »
Eyebrows of all Malaysians would have been raised when they heard the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar claiming yesterday that the police had never objected to the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the key recommendation of the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry a decade ago.
Khalid should not think that Malaysians have short memories as to forget that it was the vehement and even ferocious opposition of the police leadership, even at one time threatening a police revolt, together with opportunistic UMNO leaders at the time, who was responsible for the killing of the IPCMC proposal, which speeded up the downfall of the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who could not walk his talk of police reforms.
Khalid now says that the IPCMC proposal treated the police like “second-class citizens” with no avenue for justice, as there was no right to appeal any conviction.
Is Khalid now saying that the police will support the IPCMC proposal if police is given the right to appeal against any conviction?
Malaysians fully agree that the police are entitled to fairness and justice and should have the right of appeal against any conviction under the IPCMC bill.
Is Khalid prepared to take the initiative to propose to the Home Minister, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that the IPCMC Bill, giving the police the right to appeal against conviction, should be presented to Parliament for passage especially as this is the only way to restore public confidence in the integrity and professionalism of the police and to eradicate police abuses and corruption. Read the rest of this entry »
Gani Patail fuelling worst crisis of confidence in nation’s history over the role and powers of Attorney-General
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail is fuelling the worst crisis of confidence in the nation’s history over the role and powers of the Attorney-General (AG) as a result of his silence over the escalating controversy over non-prosecution of Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible on the one hand and the sedition blitzkrieg against scores of Malaysians who did not make incendiary statements to create a climate of fear on the other.
This is because the continued absence of satisfactory accountability and acceptable explanation that there have been no arbitrary abuse of the AG’s prosecutorial discretion as highlighted by the decision not to prosecute Ibrahim Ali despite the threat to burn the Malay-language Bible and the mass sedition blitzkrieg have raised serious questions whether the Attorney-General is committed to uphold the Rule of Law and to act as guardian of the public interest.
Gani’s predecessors as Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib from 1980 to 1993 and Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah (1994 – 2000) had their controversies when they served under the country’s most controversial Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir but Gani Patail had put both Talib and Mokhtar in the shade both in the volume and gravity of controversies since becoming AG in 2002.
Gani has gained another distinction of having been criticized by his predecessor, as last month Talib excoriated Gani Patail for undertaking to review the sedition cases against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, academicians and social activists like Prof Dr. Azmi Sharom after the charges were framed, as the barrage of sedition charges came across as “persecution” and not “prosecution”. Read the rest of this entry »
– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
23 October 2014
At Gerakan’s recently concluded national conference, the public was treated to a lone voice from the party who stated his view with regard to the birth place of the various racial groups in the country.
According to Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon, the Chinese and Indians were not the only pendatang (immigrants), but the Malays were also not natives of Malaysia as they had emigrated from Indonesia.
Tan said he wanted to explain the position of Malaysians in the country, as the original Bumiputeras were the Orang Asli and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Except for the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Orang Asli, everyone else in Malaysia is a pendatang.”
Tan noted that “when Umno members say that the Chinese are pendatang, they obviously forgot that they were also pendatang from Indonesia,” he said.
This view is one which many Malaysians hold – whether in public or privately. But it is one which Umno, Perkasa, BTN and “ketuanan Melayu” supporters do not like to hear about and are trying to suppress as it delegitimises the special privileges that they are addicted to. Read the rest of this entry »
By Mariam Mokhtar
Oct 20, 2014
Najib Abdul Razak and Umno Baru were denied an early Deepavali present when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim dismissed all talk of going into exile, in London.
Just imagine the headlines in Utusan Malaysia and TV3 if Anwar had chosen exile: ‘Coward Anwar seeks exile to escape jail’, ‘Exile proves Anwar’s guilt’, ‘Anwar abandons followers, lives in luxury in London’, ‘We told you so; Anwar is scared to face the truth’.
When he was interviewed by The Daily Telegraph, Anwar expressed no plans to form a government in exile, in London, despite unsuccessful attempts by his friends to convince him to stay. He admitted the strain placed on his family. He was sanguine about reform.
He said, “It is very difficult, particularly for my family. But when I started this case for reform in Malaysia I knew it was not going to be easy.”
If Anwar had chosen exile, Najib would have effectively isolated Anwar from his followers. The rakyat would not be spared either. They would be told that throwing their money and weight behind Anwar was wasteful, and their support for the opposition a futile cause.
Najib knows that having Anwar in exile is as good as putting him behind bars; but there are subtle differences. Read the rest of this entry »
Recent “pendatang” furore not only proof of failure of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy but 57 years of UMNO/BN Malaysian nation-building
The recent “pendatang” furore is not only proof of failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia policy, but the 57 years of UMNO/BN Malaysian nation-building.
Apart from Sabah, which is a special case by itself, the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, are local-born and 100% Malaysians – a figure which can be as high as over 95 per cent for Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.
Whether the ancestors of Malays, Chinese or Indians are immigrants, there can be no cause or justification for any Malaysian to describe another Malaysians from different ethnicity as “pendatang”, especially when the term is loaded in a very derogatory, pejorative and even abusive sense.
This is in fact questioning the citizenship rights of Malaysians, which is entrenched as one of the four “sensitive” rights in the Malaysian Constitution in 197i, whereby it becomes an automatic sedition offence to call for the withdrawal of a Malaysian’s citizenship. Read the rest of this entry »
Has Malaysia got the most powerful Attorney-General in the Commonwealth who is more powerful than the Prime Minister and Cabinet and is not bound by any principle of accountability to Parliament and the nation for the exercise of his discretionary powers
I refer to yesterday’s Malay Mail Online (MMO) report with the headline: “DAP vows to hound Nancy Shukri over Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning threat”.
The MMO headline is wrong and misleading as I had never made any vow, threat or statement to justify the headline “DAP vows to hound Nancy Shukri over Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning threat”.
For the record, this was what I said in my statement yesterday:
“It may seem unfair that Nancy had been hounded for over two weeks for her parliamentary answer that Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible, but this national outrage will not cease simply because right-thinking Malaysians cannot accept the two reasons which had been given for the Attorney-General’s decision not to prosecute – that Ibrahim was protecting the sanctity of Islam and Ibrahim’s action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Constitution.
“Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Malay-language Bible and his ability to get away scot-free enjoying immunity from any sanctions of the law will continue to dog Nancy wherever she goes in the country until the Najib government can give a satisfactory and acceptable accounting on the matter.”
It is not that DAP would “hound” Nancy over the issue, but that she would be dogged by the issue wherever she goes in any part of the country, as this would be the question uppermost in the minds of Malaysians, including the media when they meet her, as the gross miscarriage of justice of the non-prosecution of Ibrahim Ali over such provocative and incendiary threat is so palpable that it stands out in direct contrast to the “white terror” regime of sedition blitz launched recently by the government, resulting in the investigation or prosecution of some 40 Pakatan Rakyat leaders, social activists, academicians and members of the press under the Sedition Act and other laws for the most legitimate and inoffensive expression of views. Read the rest of this entry »
– T K Chua
The Malaysian Insider
22 October 2014
Lim Kit Siang is one politician I admire and respect for a long time. Usually he is realistic and accurate in his assessment of events or happenings in the country and abroad.
However, his recent warning to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) against complacency and his call for the coalition to “regain bearings” and a recommitment to Common Policy Framework and Operational Principle of Consensus may fall short of his usual astute discernment.
I think what happened to PR lately was more than what he described. I think PR needs total revamp and rebooting, not just refocusing or recommitment, if the coalition ever harbours the hope of governing Malaysia someday.
The dichotomy within PR is just too wide and too irreconcilable. The Common Policy Framework is just a Panadol, not a cure. It states what the coalition partners agree, but it ignores and denies what they disagree. Read the rest of this entry »
– Ravinder Singh
The Malaysian Insider
21 October 2014
In one breath Nancy said that her parliamentary reply “would have been similar, if the threat was to burn the Quran”.
In the very next breath she said “But I had to answer based on what was done, what was carried out. Based on their analysis, there wasn’t enough evidence (to charge), that is their answer,”
So, can Nancy clarify: if the answer she gave was “their answer”, how could she assure the public that “if the threat was to burn the Quran”, “their answer” would be the same, for she would only be reading “their answer” again. No?
She is all confused. While saying that the answer she gave was “their reply”, she is at the same time asserting that it was her reply. For only if it were her own reply, could she give an assurance that she would give the same reply if the threat was to burn the Quran.
If somebody takes her courageous words to heart and threatens to burn the Quran, can she guarantee that her reply would be the same? How would that be since the reply would be prepared by the A-G Chambers, or would she do a ‘copy and paste’ job and would the A-G let her do so? He might charge her for plagiarism. Read the rest of this entry »
Let all Malaysians be inspired by the Deepavali message of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair
Happy Deepavali to Malaysian Indians in particular and Malaysians in general.
The Deepavali Festival of Lights celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.
Let all Malaysians be inspired by the Deepavali message to build a free, just, democratic, prosperous and competitive multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation which is a model of unity, harmony, moderation and tolerance to the world – instead of being a troubled and divided country.
Nancy is right that Cabinet cannot decide prosecutions for AG but wrong when she implied Cabinet is impotent or must accept an AG guilty of selective or malicious prosecution
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri is right when she said today that the Cabinet could not make decisions on charges against Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali as this would be tantamount to meddling in the prosecutorial discretion of the Attorney-General stipulated in the Constitution.
But Nancy is wrong when she implied that the Cabinet is impotent or must accept an Attorney-General who is guilty of selective or malicious prosecution, like the failure to prosecute Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali despite his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible or the “white terror” regime of sedition blitzkrieg since the beginning of this year to investigate or prosecute some 40 Pakatan Rakyat leaders, social activists, academicians and members of the press under the Sedition Act and other laws for the most legitimate and inoffensive expression of views.
While the Cabinet cannot interfere with the Attorney-General’s prosecutorial discretion under Article 145(3) of the Constitution, Cabinet Ministers, in particular the Prime Minister and the Minister vested with the powers of de facto Law Minister, cannot be indifferent to prevalent public opinion that the Attorney General was responsible for grave miscarriage of justice, whether in the failure to prosecute Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible threatening the very fabric of Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious society or had violated the larger policy objective of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to make Malaysia “the best democracy of the world” with the mass dragnet of sedition investigations and prosecutions.
Or is the Cabinet now claiming that the pledge to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy is the personal and individual promise of the Prime Minister, and that he had no mandate to make it on behalf of the Cabinet or Malaysian Government? Read the rest of this entry »
Latest poll on rebound of public support for PR in Selangor confirmation that PR can restore political momentum provided it can learn the right lessons from the self-inflicted wounds in the eight-month-long Selangor MB crisis
The latest University Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) polls on the rebound of public support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Selangor is confirmation that Pakatan Rakyat can restore political momentum provided it can learn the right lessons from the self-inflicted wounds in the eight-month-long Selangor Mentri Besar crisis.
The survey was conducted three days after Mohamed Azmin Ali was sworn in as the new Selangor Mentri Besar from Sept. 26 to 28, polling 1,165 respondents in all 22 Parliamentary constituencies in Selangor and covering all races.
It showed that PR’s support in Selangor had rebounded to 43%, after taking a beating five months ago when PR’s support in the state nosedived to 35% in a survey conducted from May 10 to 19 – a 15% fall from 50% recorded in September 2012 in an earlier UMcedel survey.
The rebound in public support for PR in Selangor to 43% would have been even more significant than just jumping eight percentage from 35% as public frustration and disillusionment with PR in Selangor would have plummeted to lower than the 35% registered in May, especially in the months from July to September which saw the greatest heights in public disenchantment with PR in Selangor until the resolution of the crisis.
Indisputably, the rebound in support for PR in Selangor would have gone through double-digit percentage points. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
20 October 2014
Trust Malaysians to be able to read between the lines when it comes to politics.
The days of just listening to propaganda or swallowing hook, line and sinker from some politicians are over. A case in point is the results of a recent Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel).
The survey carried out between September 26 and 28 showed that support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Selangor has rebounded to 43% after taking a beating five months ago largely due to infighting in the opposition coalition.
Support for Barisan Nasional (BN), meanwhile, dropped by five percentage points from 25% last May, the UMcedel survey also revealed. Read the rest of this entry »
Mail Mail Online
OCTOBER 20, 2014
Dyana Sofya suffers from dysania and is using her superpowers to pen down her thoughts late into the night. Political Secretary to Lim Kit Siang by day and she tweets from @dyanasmd.
OCTOBER 20 — It is an interesting exercise to browse through the many comments on my Facebook fan page. Reading through them recently, I began to notice a pattern. Generally, there are three types of comments: positive, negative and commiserative.
The positive comments mostly take the form of motivating words of encouragement. These are my favourite, and I am eternally grateful for the constant show of support from Malaysians of all walks of life. They have never failed to fuel me with positive energy or pick me up when I feel down.
As for the negative comments, they are as colourful as one would expect them to be. From the usual name-calling, gender stereotyping to all kinds of discriminating attacks, I have learned to accept them as part and parcel of public life. In fact, I sometimes find it entertaining, as it takes a special breed of people to be able to be so shallow and perverse.
However, there is one more type of comment that has become a constant feature in almost every thread. I find these quite puzzling. Somehow, there seems to be quite a few people out there who find it necessary to convey their pity or sympathy because they feel I am being “used.” Often, they would also predict that I would one day “wake up” and realise that I am in the wrong struggle, and that I would eventually “return” to the true path. Read the rest of this entry »
— Amar-Singh HSS, Lim Swee Im
Malay Mail Online
OCTOBER 20, 2014
OCTOBER 20 — I want to believe in my government, I really do.
I want to believe that they care for all the people.
I want to believe that they are altruistic and want to serve, rather than lord it over the people.
I want to believe that programmes and plans put in place are there to benefit the poor and average person.
I want to believe that they respect and love our country and all the people in it.
I want to believe ….. Read the rest of this entry »