Archive for category Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Pak Lah’s inaugural blog most welcome but is he prepared to consistently take up the cudgel to champion moderation against baneful developments like the upsurge of intolerance and extremism and the sedition dragnet which have created a climate of fear

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s inaugural blog on Malaysia Day yesterday is most welcome, especially as it addressed the biggest issue haunting Malaysia since his premiership – the rearing of the ugly head of intolerance and extremism among a raucous few preaching the politics of hatred and falsehoods, causing the worst racial and religious polarization in the history of plural Malaysia.

As a result, we have the sad spectacle yesterday of the former Higher Education Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM), which is one of the initiatives of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who have to ask for no media coverage of a forum on the country’s future co-organised by GMM because of the climate of fear engendered by the recent selective and malicious sedition dragnet.

Although the “no media coverage” was to protect the participants at the GMM forum from falling victim to the current sedition spree, there is the feeling that even Saifuddin himself may not be safe from the sedition dragnet, although he was former Deputy Minister and hand-picked by the Prime Minister himself to be the CEO of GMM!

It would appear that the only persons who need not fear the sedition dragnet are those who had since Abdullah’s premiership and who have become more blatant in the Najib premiership been inciting racial and religious hatred and conflict through lies and falsehoods, the very people who had succeeded in forcing Abdullah’s early retirement as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Comeuppance or deja vu, Najib feels the heat from old Umno hands

February 04, 2014

Just after the 2008 elections, Datuk Seri Najib Razak watched as the then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi got skewered for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) abysmal showing at the polls, with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad leading the campaign to oust Pak Lah from office.

The constant hammering took its toll and in March 2009, Abdullah made way for Najib. Until today, Abdullah’s supporters believe that the so-called groundswell against the PM was not as widespread as painted by Dr Mahathir and his instigator-in-chief, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

But Abdullah had little drive to stay and fight, concerned that a war with his nemesis would mortally wound Umno.

Truth be told, he also never recovered from that day in March when BN lost five states and the two-thirds control of Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Nazir’s paean to dad, a call to action for all Malaysians

January 14, 2014

It happens all the time. Whenever someone writes or talks about the golden generation of Malaysian leaders, it is a bittersweet experience for citizens of this blessed country.

There is pride that individuals such as Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman once charted the fortunes of Malaysia.

And there is deep longing for such men of integrity, principle and fairness.

Yet, there is also numbing sadness that such men no longer exists in government, replaced long time ago by inept individuals with a ravenous appetite for self.

Make no mistake, Razak and friends were flawed men, at times drive by political interests of their parties. But they loved this land above everything else. Above enriching their family members. Above nurturing crony capitalism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno polls show that what goes around comes around

Bridget Welsh
Oct 20, 2013

COMMENT The results are in. Despite the last-minute swing to Mukhriz Mahathir due to the sympathy factor associated with the false reporting of vote-buying and buoyed by his father’s support, the count clearly shows that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s personal influence in Umno has waned.

In fact, when one looks at the election of the 25 spots for the Supreme Council, Mahathir loyalists have lost badly. The question arises whether this party election indeed spells the end of an era, a changing of the guard of sorts within Umno.

While personal loyalties may have moved on and Mahathir’s influence has been checked, his legacy persists within the party and given the competitiveness of the results, Mahathir’s own role will continue to shadow Najib’s premiership. Read the rest of this entry »

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After all these years, Malaysia still held hostage

Ooi Kee Beng
The Malaysian Insider
September 04, 2013

In thinking about 2013, the year the Federation of Malaysia celebrates its 50th anniversary, one cannot but compare the national atmosphere to that in 2007, the year the Federation of Malaya celebrated its 50th anniversary.

I remember that the New Straits Times under Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan ran a week-long serialisation in January that year of my book The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time (ISEAS 2006) with the express purpose of putting the country into a contemplative mood and reminding Malaysians of what nation building is all about.

Given the faltering reform programme of then prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi, 2007 couldn’t help but be a contemplative — and agitative — year for many Malaysians in any case. Be that as it may, to be fair to Abdullah, much change had come to the country after he took over from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in October 2003.

Otherwise, the latter would not have been using his considerable political acumen back then to undermine his successor’s position. Only Dr Mahathir’s bad health that year limited his attacks on the prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s getting off this tiger’s back

AB Sulaiman
Aug 12, 2013

COMMENT In the Malaysian public domain one issue seems to be taking a lot of attention; its source, of all things, is a book.

For a people not known to read much, this is bizarre. For it to be written purportedly by Abdullah Badawi, as some have assumed, more bizarre still.

Actually ‘Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia’ is not a book written by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at all; it’s one about him but edited by Bridget Welsh and James Chin.

In it Abdullah makes comments about his tenure as prime minister, about how he dared go against the wishes of predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad who apparently was holding the reins of power in the background.

Abdullah was commenting on how he was hounded by Mahathir but stood his ground anyway, and even cancelled some Mahathir-conceived mega projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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The greatest PM we never had

Mariam Mokhtar
Aug 12, 2013

Malaysian prime ministers display fascinating quirks and characteristics; Dr Mahathir Mohamad assumes the role of the Pied Piper of Hamelin who leads the children (Malays) to a catastrophic end; Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is like Rip van Winkle who slept when he should have been working to improve the nation; and Najib Abdul Razak appears to act like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned.

Najib’s entry into politics is a lacklustre, predictable story which might explain his inability to inspire the nation. His role in undermining Malaysian democracy is pivotal.

He places more emphasis on sound-bites and slogans, than on sound policies. Najib is English educated, and a well travelled man. Some consider him a roué but he comes from a family with an impeccable political pedigree. The reason he failed as PM is simple.

Najib lacks leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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A time when Utusan Malaysia didn’t get away with everything…

The Malaysian Insider
August 07, 2013

In a book about his years in power, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi makes a startling revelation about how he dealt with Utusan Malaysia, in stark contrast to how the strident newspaper is managed by its Umno backers now.

Abdullah was known for liberalising news media in an attempt to restore their credibility after the severe damage that mainstream media took under the Mahathir years, but Abdullah still kept a firm line on racial and religious issues.

Referring to his appointees, he said, “I did not interfere with their work as I believed that they had a professional job to do and I allowed them the space to do it. But when they abused the openness by playing up racial and religious issues, like when Utusan Malaysia did, then I would call them and warn them.”

He revealed that he made a phone call to the editor-in-chief of Utusan Malaysia and left him with a stark warning: the newspaper had crossed the boundary with an editorial that smacked of racism and he should expect no favours from Putrajaya if charged with sedition.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Kit Siang praises Pak Lah, seeks government post for defeated rival Ghani

By Ida Lim
May 09, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today praised former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while also asking that his polls rival Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman be given a post in the new Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

Lim described Abdullah’s statement yesterday as being the “most sensible, level-headed and statesmanlike” comment on the results of last Sunday’s polls.

Despite holding on to power with its win of 133 federal seats, BN lost the popular vote and had a poorer showing this time round, which led the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to suggest that it was due to a “Chinese tsunami”.

The DAP advisor also said Ghani was a moderate and rational man, saying that the former Johor Mentri Besar had contributed to the state and country’s development during his four terms of service. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Stop blaming one community for BN’s bad performance’

The Malaysian Insider
May 08, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today demanded a stop to all attempts at racialising last Sunday’s polls by blaming a particular community for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) poor showing at the ballot boxes.

“This is unfair and unhelpful,” he said in a statement here.

The former prime minister, who stepped down in favour of Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2009 after he led BN to lose its coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008, agreed that following Sunday’s polls results, there was a pressing need for the country to undergo the process of national reconciliation and unity.

He also called on the opposition to accept and respect the election results, despite the fact that they had lost by slim majorities amid claims of fraud and widespread irregularities in the polling process.

“Malaysians deserve stability and certainty that can only come with finality and closure from this election,” he said in his message to the opposition.

“Let us move on in the interest of all Malaysians.” Read the rest of this entry »

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22 questions for Dr M, again

P Gunasegaram
Feb 14, 2013

QUESTION TIME I became a journalist at the Business Times, then a standalone newspaper, in 1978.

Three years later in 1981 Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister of Malaysia, its fourth, succeeding Hussein Onn.

I have followed his career quite closely since and frankly I am not impressed. He started off with promise – and promised a lot – but fulfilled none if any.

In fact I would go so far as to say that he was positively the worst prime minister this country has ever had.

Through destruction of institutions such as an independent judiciary, running roughshod over civil servants, bringing his brand of power, patronage and poor economics into decision making, and making use of oppressive laws he used an iron fist to rule and in the process brought more harm to this country than any other person alive or dead.

Much of the problems of Malaysia can be traced back to him and he has made it difficult for his successors to make major changes going forward, much of which would involve unwinding processes and linkages he had put in place before. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pengiraan Detik 87 Hari ke PRU13 – Media perdana BN berterusan tidak jujur, tidak profesional dan berbohong terbukti merupakan kemusnahan terakhir Najib sebagai Perdana Menteri dan penyingkiran UMNO/BN dari Putrajaya dalam PRU13

Bukan sahaja ironi malah sukar dipercayai bahawa pada malam KL112, Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak menjadi tuan rumah Malam Penghargaan Media Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2012 dan bercakap tentang kepentingan media kepada UMNO.

Rakyat Malaysia yang berfikiran rasional dan bebas, termasuklah empat juta pengundi pertengahan yang akan menentukan sama ada Barisan Nasional atau Pakatan Rakyat akan membentuk kerajaan persekutuan di Putrajaya dalam pilihan raya umum 13, tentu akan tertanya adakah Najib betul-betul berpijak di bumi nyata atau sedang hidup dalam dunianya sendiri.

Apa yang Najib katakan tentang media beberapajam selepas KL112, yang menjadi titik penting demokrasi yang sedang matang, di luar alam nyata.

Bagaimana Najib dengan selamba meminta media memainkan peranan orang tengah yang menyampaikan kehendak dan perasaan orang ramai kepada kerajaan dan melaporkan rungutan dan kritikan terhadap kerajaan untuk membolehkan penambahbaikan dijalankan sedangkan media perdana Barisan Nasional, sama ada media cetak, radio, televisyen atau atas talian, bersalah melakukan sesuatu yang sebaliknya, benar-benar tanpa sesal mereka-reka pembohongan tentang Pakatan Rakyat?

Selama berminggu-minggu, media perdana Barisan Nasional telah melakukan “Pembohongan Besar” berkenaan KL112 dan mereka masih lagi menyempurnakan “Pembohongan Besar” selepas KL112, walaupun “Pembohongan Besar” itu telah dihancurkan dengan lumat sebagai tiada asas dan tidak benar!

Tidak diragukan lagi bahawa salah satu pihak yang kalah teruk kerana KL112 dijalankan dengan berjaya dan aman adalah media perdana Barisan Nasional (MSM), sebab itulah Malaysiakini di dalam “KL112: Winners and losers” menyenaraikan media perdana sebagai salah satu daripada tiga yang “tewas” selepas Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan UMNO/Barisan Nasional manakala The Malaysian Insider menerbitkan rencana editorial yang bertajuk: “Mainstream media’s epic fail”. Read the rest of this entry »

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87-Day Countdown to 13GE – Persistently dishonest, unprofessional and lying BN mainstream media may prove to be the final undoing of Najib as Prime Minister and ousting of UMNO/BN from Putrajaya in 13GE

It is not only ironic but simply unbelievable that on the night of KL112, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could host the Umno general assembly 2012 Media Appreciation Night and speak about the importance of the media to UMNO.

Rational and independent-minded Malaysians, including the four million middle-ground voters who will decide whether it is Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat which will form the federal government in Putrajaya in the 13th general elections, must be asking whether Najib is rooted firmly to the ground in reality or is living in a make-believe world of his own.

What Najib said about the media a few hours after the KL112, which marked an important turning point in a maturing democracy, is simply surreal.

How could Najib with a straight face urge the media to play the role of an intermediary that delivers the feelings and aspirations of the people to the government and which report the grievances and criticisms leveled at the government to enable improvements to be carried out when the Barisan Nasional mainstream media, whether print, radio, television or online, have been most guilty of the very opposite, completely unrepentant in fabricating and purveying lies after lies about the Pakatan Rakyat?

For weeks, the Barisan Nasional mainstream media had told a “Big Lie” about KL112 and they are still purveying the “Big Lie” after KL112, although the “Big Lie” had been completely pulverized and demolished as baseless and untrue! Read the rest of this entry »

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A leader leads by action, not words

– Jacob Sinnathamby
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 26, 2012

DEC 26 – It is really interesting how our last two prime ministers – Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak – have felt the need to talk about themselves as leaders of all Malaysians.

The truly great and effective leaders of countries and businesses never need stand on the roof top and tell people what they are. It is plain for people to see. In short, their track record and actions speak volumes about them, their character and their decency.

Abdullah loved to talk about being a leader of all Malaysians, but we all know now that it was just spin for political expediency.

He hoodwinked many of us into thinking that he actually cared for non-malays and malays equally.

Now, we know that it was just a charade to get Malaysians to believe that he was different from Mahathir Mohamad and give him a huge mandate in 2004.

With the mandate in the bag, Abdullah reverted to type and became Umno’s servant, not the servant of Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN must renounce the tactics and ideology of extremist politics including Ketuanan Melayu and the four hate politics of race, religion, lies and fear if they want to compete for the support of Middle Malaysia

The unity, solidarity and commitment of DAP and reaffirmation of the Middle Malaysia concept by the just-concluded 16th DAP National Congress in Penang have struck fear in UMNO/BN and reverberated throughout the country, ringing alarm bells in UMNO/Barisan Nasional, as they realize that the agenda has been set for the crucial and critical battle in the 13th General Elections in the next 100 days to decide for the first time in the nation’s 55-year history whether there shoud be a change of federal government in Putrajay.

It jolted UMNO leaders including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak into quick reaction, claiming that it was the Barisan Nasional and not the DAP that represents “Middle Malaysia”.

If Najib is confident that it is UMNO/BN which represents Middle Malaysia, and has overwhelming support of the four million middle ground voters in the 13 General Elections – the three million new voters and the one million swing voters from the 12GE in 2008 – Najib would have dissolved Parliament and the 13GE would have been held already.

Furthermore, Najib would not have to suffer the “To Be or Not To Be” agony in the past two years to decide on the dissolution of Parliament (an agony which he is still undergoing despite Parliament having only some four months’ tenure before it is automatically dissolved under the Constitution on April 28, 2013) and the ignominy of being the longest unelected Prime Minister in Malaysia without his own mandate from the people.

The former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah was also awakened to describe the 16th DAP National Congress as an unhealthy phenomenon on the ground that it showed that DAP is monopolised by a particular race.

But the most laughable comment must go to the Gerakan President and former Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon who described the non-election of any Malays in the DAP central executive committee as against the 1Malaysia spirit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why I have nothing much to say at the moment (Part 1)

By Clive Kessler | November 07, 2012
UPDATED @ 07:04:27 AM 08-11-2012
The Malaysian Insider

People are kind.

They have been writing to ask how I am.

I have not said or written anything serious for weeks.

And they are beginning to wonder.

The “Phoney War” Interlude

“What is the problem?” they ask.

The problem, I reply, is not me. It’s the situation.

The situation?
Read the rest of this entry »

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This week has been a great Public Relations triumph for MACC but a major setback for the war against corruption, particularly “Grand Corruption”

This week has been a great Public Relations triumph for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) but a major setback for Malaysia’s war against corruption, particularly “Grand Corruption” by top political and public personalities.

How much of Malaysian public taxpayers’ money was spent for MACC to host the 6th International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) and General Meeting 2012?

It was clearly well-spent for MACC and the Barisan Nasional Government from the harvest of superlative praises showered on Malaysia – which were all music to the ears of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the MACC officers, from the plaudits by the IAACA participants commending Malaysia’s “serious efforts” at tackling corruption to praises for the Prime Minister himself “as someone very serious about the priority he has given to fighting corruption”.

Those who do not know the true situation would be excused for thinking that Malaysia must be one of the top 20 if not top 10 countries in the annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking and score in terms of being least corrupt nations in the world.

But the facts tell a very different story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M, Melayu mahu bersatu, tetapi di luar Umno

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 24, 2012

24 SEPT — Saya telah cuba untuk tidak menulis tentang Dr Mahathir Mohamad lagi tetapi tidak dapat saya berbuat demikian kerana beliau masih lagi menyalahkan semua orang di atas perpecahan orang Melayu sebagaimana anggapan beliau sekarang.

Dalam tulisan beliau dalam Mingguan Malaysia semalam beliau menzahirkan perasaan sedih di atas apa yang telah terjadi kepada orang Melayu yang pada beliau akan hilang kuasa politiknya disebabkan perpecahan sesama sendiri.

Tidak susah untuk memikirkan siapa yang dimaksudkan oleh Dr Mahathir sebagai Melayu yang tamak kuasa yang telah memecahkan Melayu itu. Ia tidak lain selain dari Anwar Ibrahim yang telah menjadi duri dalam daging kehidupan sepanjang hayat beliau.

Dr Mahathir masih lagi bercakap tentang Melayu yang beliau sendiri telah pecahkan dan hasil dari perpecahan itu dilontarkan kesalahannya kepada semua orang kecuali diri beliau sendiri.

Utusan menggambarkan yang beliau telah menangis memerhatikan perpecahan orang Melayu sekarang ini. Tetapi Dr Mahathir mesti faham yang orang Melayu telah lama menangis dan tersedu di atas perbuatan beliau memecahbelahkan pimpinan dan premis perjuangan Melayu iaitu Umno selama ini.

Umno telah beliau jadikan sebagai alat permainan beliau dengan menggunakan sentimen Melayu yang menebal dan menggunakan simpati dan sokongan Melayu itu untuk kepentingan peribadi beliau.

Kata perbilangan “sesal dahulu pendapatan, kesal kemudian tiada gunanya”. Inilah yang patut Dr Mahathir rasakan sekarang dan berhenti mengalih dan melontarkan kesalahan kepada orang lain seperti Pak Lah dan Anwar Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »

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National Day theme “Janji Ditepati” wrong and inappropriate as it is anti-national, divisive rather than unifying the people, presenting Najib as Prime Minister for UMNO/BN only and not all Malaysians!

The Information Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim is defending the indefensible when he takes to Twitter to ask why “Janji Ditepati” cannot be used as this year’s National Day/Malaysia Day theme.

Firstly, Rais’ claim that “Malaysia has truly arrived as an achieving nation after 55 years of independence” is highly controversial and debatable, for if this is true, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would not gain the reputation of being the most indecisive Prime Minister in the nation’s history who keeps postponing his plan to hold the next general election to win a personal mandate for his premiership for fear of ending up in the Opposition benches or toppled within UMNO like his predecessor Tun Abdullah.

In fact, probably more could be written about how the slogan of “Janji Ditepati” had failed rather than succeeded in 55 years after Merdeka and 49 years after Malaysia – whether in building a united, harmonious, democratic, progressive and competitive Malaysia; or in fulfilling Najib’s three-year promises of 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) whether in reducing crime, fighting corruption or carrying out meaningful government, economic and political transformation for Malaysia to take her rightful place in international society and achieve the status of a normal democratic country.

I remember when I visited Sabah in 1978, I had warned that Sabah faced three grave problems – the illegal immigrant problem which I had cited had reached 140,000, the crime situation and grave problem of corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Return of Mahathirism triumphant

Last week, Tun Mahathir asked why I hated him so much. Yesterday, he asked why I am so afraid of him.

It is neither. As I had said on Saturday, “like three former Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein and Tun Abdullah and the majority of Malaysians in 2012, I am opposed to Mahathirism and its return to Malaysian politics in the 13th general election”.

Mahathir is in his cynical best.

Tongue-in-cheek, he made the grandiloquent announcement that “Mahathirism” is dead, that it “died” when Tun Abdullah took over from him as Prime Minister in 2003.

In actual fact, “Mahathirism” is not only alive and thriving, the return of Mahathirism is enjoying its most triumphant phase since the unceremonious exit of Abdullah as Prime Minister and his replacement by Datuk Seri Najib Razak 39 months ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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