Archive for category Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia’s prime minister is a questionable ally

By Editorial Board
Washington Post
September 18, 2015

THE OBAMA administration has made a heavy bet on the Malaysian government of Najib Razak, whose majority Muslim nation collaborates on several key U.S. national security initiatives: counterterrorism, counterproliferation and balancing against China’s regional ambitions. In December, President Obama invited Mr. Najib to a round of golf during his Hawaiian vacation, a rare show of friendship for a foreign leader.

Since then, however, Mr. Najib has been evolving into an increasingly unseemly pal. In February, the country’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was imprisoned on blatantly trumped-up charges, just under a year after the coalition Mr. Anwar led won the popular vote in national elections. That was the tip of a broader campaign to suppress the opposition; key leaders were indicted under a sedition law that Mr. Najib once promised to repeal, and a leading cartoonist was prosecuted for tweets. Mr. Anwar’s daughter, parliament member Nurul Izzah Anwar, was recently told she was being investigated under an anti-terrorism law. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders not to wear blinkers about Mahathir – regarding all he said now as wrong when during his 22-year premiership, idolising all he said as right even when he was wrong

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad today told the police to go ahead and arrest him for attending the Bersih 4 rally when he returned to the Subang Airport from the Czech Republic.

I would be disappointed if Mahathir had said otherwise or disappeared from Malaysia to escape any police dragnet.

As political leaders, we must stand up for the rights of the people and do not run away from the police if we have done no wrong.

I was advised against returning to Kuala Lumpur during the May 13, 1969 riots as I had flown to Kota Kinabalu on the morning of May 13, 1969 to campaign for the Independent candidate in Kota Kinabalu, but I returned to Kuala Lumpur although I was warned that I was on the blacklist of Internal Security Act arrests, as I felt that my place was with the people of Malaysia in their hour of need and trouble and not to seek personal refuge and safety abroad. I was then 28 years old. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are there at least 35 UMNO/BN MPs who are prepared to join with Opposition MPs in October Parliament on a “Save Malaysia” agenda including a no-confidence motion on Najib?

The universe seems to be conspiring against Malaysia, as there is no surcease of daily bad news for the country.

Yesterday’s, it was disclosed that Bank Negara’s international reserves have declined further to US$94.5 billion (RM356.4 billion) as at Aug 14 compared to US$96.7 billion (RM364.7 billion) on July 31.

At this rate of shrinking international reserves to stem the ringgit slide against the US dollar which yesterday stood at RM4.17 to a US dollar, the BN international reserves could fall to some US$92 billion on Merdeka Day on August 31 and by Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, might be struggling not to fall below the US$90 billion level.

The news yesterday of the flip-flop by the new Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, forming a new task force to investigate the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, after disbanding the earlier multi-agency Special Task Force to investigate into the twin scandals of 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts, but now excluding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), is only calculated to further undermine and not restore a very shaken public confidence in the key national institutions in the country.

In this context, the “interesting proposition” by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir that the Opposition support a no-confidence vote in Parliament against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak while still retaining Barisan Nasional as government has opened up a Pandora’s Box about the directions Malaysia should be heading in the coming years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for release of Anwar Ibrahim to fully participate in a National “Save Malaysia” Summit to prevent Malaysia from becoming a rogue and failed state

The plethora of political and economic crisis plaguing the country is symbolized by the ringgit falling to over 4 to a US dollar and 2.84 to a Singapore dollar today when 50 years ago the Malaysian ringgit was at par with the Singapore dollar.

There is gloom on the economic front, as apart from the worst devaluation of the ringgit in 17 years since August 1998, the stock market has continued to plunge across-the-board, foreign-exchange reserves have dropped below US$100 billion for the first time since 2010 and foreign capital is exiting the country at an unprecedented rate.

But economic woes are not Malaysia’s only problems.

Malaysia is also suffering from the worst crisis of confidence and the government with a minority Prime Minister has never been so fractured today as at any period in the nation’s 58-year history – evident from the ugly stand-off between the Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (which I had described as the “nine days of madness in Putrajaya), the sacking of the Attorney-General and the Deputy Prime Minister, the reshuffle to produce a 1MDB Cabinet and a new wave of attack on the independence and professionalism on the key national institutions.

There is not only a fractured government, but also a fractured UMNO, for nobody believes that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has the support of three million UMNO members, although he has the support of the UMNO party machinery! Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet should convene a National “Save Malaysia” Summit before or on Merdeka Day involving all political parties and NGOs to form a national consensus on a blueprint to save Malaysia from becoming a rogue and failed state

Open Letter to Cabinet by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang on Wednesday, August 12, 2015:

To the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers.

I will not beat about the bush and get to the point straightaway for this Open Letter for your Cabinet meeting today.

Never before has Malaysia been faced with such a grave national crisis as today, with a minority Prime Minister helming the most fractured government ever – as evident from the ‘Nine Days of Madness in Putrajaya” when there was a confrontation between the Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), compelling the latter to hold a solat hajat to seek divine intervention to match the force and might of the police – and a full-blown economic crisis illustrated by foreign-exchange reserves dropping below US$100 billion for the first time since 2010, the rapid and unchecked deterioration of the Malaysian ringgit, the plunge in the stock exchange index and the exit of foreign capital.
Malaysia’s ringgit has fallen the most in the past seven weeks, retreating for a fifth day of losses to 3.9605 dollar , the lowest level since August 1998, and is down almost 20 percent in the past 12 months. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir exaggerating when he said “democracy is dead” but there is no doubt that Najib would shed no tears to kill democracy and even launch a bigger “Operation Lalang 2015” than Mahathir’s 1987 Operation to save his political life

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that democracy in the country is dead.

Mahathir is exaggerating though there is no doubt that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would shed no tears to kill democracy and even launch a bigger “Operation Lalang 2015” than Mahathir’s 1987 Operation to save his political life.

Mahathir’s Operation Lalang in 1987, which unleashed a multi-faceted assault on democracy, human rights and the independence, impartiality and professionalism of key national institutions involving the Press, Parliament, Judiciary, key agencies like the Police, the anti-corruption agency, the election commission, the universities, entire civil service, brought the fragile plant of Malaysian democracy to the brink of ruin and disaster.

But Malaysian resilience, the spirit and love for freedom, justice and the nation, did not wilt or capitulate to Mahathir’s iron-fisted policies, but sprang back not only to recover lost ground during the Mahathir decades, but to achieve new democratic breakthroughs as in the 13th General Election when 52% of popular vote sought the first change of national government with new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but the people were denied the fruits of democratic victory because of undemocratic gerrymandering of parliamentary constituencies.

Democracy in Malaysia is facing another crisis, and undoubtedly an even bigger one than under Mahathir’s premiership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia will not be in throes of a bumper political, economic and leadership confidence crisis if Anwar is Prime Minister of Malaysia today

Malaysia will not be in the throes of a bumper political, economic and leadership confidence crisis if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the Prime Minister of Malaysia today.

Firstly, there will not be a 1MDB crisis, which for the past five years, had sapped national and international confidence in the economic and investment climate in Malaysia.

Secondly, there will not be the scandal of RM2.6 billion deposited into the personal banking accounts of the Prime Minister, whether from 1MDB or any other source, as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 has made it very clear that the definition of gratification in the Act included donations and that any form of gratification was presumed to have been corruptly received, unless proven otherwise.

Thirdly, there will not be the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which has caused great economic hardships to the people, small businesses and traders, causing Hari Raya sales this year to drop by some 50% and even the closure of shops and businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Can Ensure a Real Political Breakthrough

Koon Yew Yin
3rd August 2015

Recently I wrote of developments on the opposition side that had the potential to lead to a political breakthrough for the country. I was referring to the formation of a new party led by Pas moderates and progressives.

I had also written on the need for the new Islamic party to adhere to the Common Policy Framework and reject a hard line and extremist Islamic ideology; oppose the move to introduce hudud in Kelantan and the federal parliament; support the constitutional position on democratic and human rights and the equality of all citizens, irrespective of race or creed and to fight racial and religious extremism wherever it comes from.

But in politics it is not enough to have the right manifesto or ideology. To win power, it is equally – if not more important – to have the right leaders. Today we have a clear political leadership crisis in the country in both government and the opposition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir On Anwar, Islam, Malays In Business And The Press

Chris Wright
JUL 28, 2015

These days, feeling that the press is no longer marching to his tune, Mahathir communicates to the world through a blog, – a name taken, he tells me, from a childhood nickname conferred upon him by his sisters.

It is a consistently strident piece of work, as one would expect, with a tag-line: “Blogging to unblock”. In it, until recently beneath the incongruous herald of a pizza delivery ad, he rails against the issues of the day, from Kuala Lumpur traffic to intervention in Syria, from the nature of modern Islam to racial polarization and the endless question of the Malaysian national car. The English language entries alone in the second half of 2014 have taken on deforestation and the logging trade, the nature of state education, monetary handouts and national economics, ISIS, American foreign policy, British jihadists, the bombing of Gaza, Malaysian tourism, Formula One, the privatization of Malaysian Airlines, censorship of the internet, the Jews and the history of Israel, the oil price, the nature of an Islamic state, and Joe Biden (a piece that concludes: “America is a land stolen from the Red Indians through genocide. Americans should really bow their heads down in shame forever”).

They take an ordered, numbered form, not always reaching an obvious conclusion but never short of a boisterous opinion. Thus does Mahathir put his country and faith to rights, shouting not from a rooftop but from a desktop, to the masses of the net. The top-flight Malay establishment tolerates him politely, accepting the voice of a man who is part of much of their history even if no longer directly relevant to its present. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can the prime minister survive?

– Greg Lopez
The Malaysian Insider
30 July 2015

The president of Umno is always the prime minister of Malaysia. It is Umno who decides who becomes the prime minister. Leadership crisis in Umno always has serious implications to national leadership and Malaysia.

The leadership crisis within Umno occurs almost every decade. The outcomes of these leadership crises are balanced as the context is important in determining the survival of the incumbent.

The first leadership crisis happened almost as soon as Umno was established.

Leaders from Umno’s Islamic Department left in 1951 to form the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party of Tanah Melayu, now known as the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party or PAS. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s mess is Mahathir-made

Dan Slater
East Asia Forum
29 July 2015

At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003. What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Mahathir may believe that he can end the crisis by bringing Najib down. But history should judge Mahathir himself as the author of a long national decline that has culminated in this latest crisis.

To be sure, Najib’s fingerprints are all over the current mess. The proximate source of the crisis has been the collapse of Najib’s pet sovereign-investment company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). This has caused Malaysia’s stock market and currency, the ringgit, to plummet in turn. All this has transpired amid credible allegations that the prime minister siphoned an eye-popping US$700 million into his personal bank account.

But this road toward ruin commenced with Mahathir, not Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why sacking Muhyiddin riskier than sacking Anwar Ibrahim

– Shahrul Yusof
The Malaysian Insider
28 July 2015

I remember it was in early September 1998, when TV3 broke the news about then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sacking his deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

It was during my summer holiday and I was back home with my family. Immediately after that I rang my friend Yazid in the UK and told him about the news.

Surprised he certainly was, and immediately conveyed the message to my other friends who were in England, and within a few days news reached everyone in the mosque there.

Six hours ago, I woke up at 6am in Manchester and grabbed my phone and to my surprise, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was out.

My Facebook timeline flashing with news after news about the sacking. Here in the UK, at the same time, Malaysian’s were already in chapter 4 of the chronological discussions, and it was less than an hour after Najib’s press statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Growing Opposition Can’t Be Silenced

Wall Street Journal
July 23, 2015

Why I’ve chosen to stay and continue the fight for peaceful, democratic reform from my prison cell.


Since Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 2013 electoral victory, which was plagued by widespread allegations of gerrymandering, fraud and voter intimidation, Malaysia has taken a turn for the worse. Mr. Najib, who once promised democratic and economic reforms and pledged to allow “the voices of dissent” to be heard, has doubled down on political repression.

A former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and leader of the opposition, I am now in the fifth month of a five-year prison sentence that has been roundly condemned by governments and human-rights groups around the world. I spend my days in solitary confinement in meditation and in the company of the few books that are allowed into my cell. Meanwhile, allegations of corruption at the highest levels of Malaysian government have surfaced.

In 2012, the draconian Internal Security Act was repealed by the Najib government with much fanfare, only to be replaced by the Prevention of Crime and Prevention of Terrorism Acts, which are equally, if not more, repressive. Beyond encroaching on Malaysian citizens’ fundamental liberties, these new laws rob judges of their discretionary sentencing powers. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is Hadi’s prerogative if he wants to provide a life-line to support Najib and shore up the Prime Minister in the gathering storm over the 1MDB scandal, but PAS leaders should not expect DAP leaders to keep quiet when they make baseless attacks on the DAP

(Scroll down for English text)

Terserah kepada Hadi jika beliau mahu membantu memanjangkan jangka hayat Najib sebagai Perdana Menteri di tengah taufan skandal 1MDB, namun pemimpin-pemimpin PAS tidak boleh mengharapkan DAP berdiam diri apabila mereka membuat serangan tidak berasas ke atas DAP.

Saya telah menasihatkan para pemimpin DAP untuk tidak mencontohi sikap Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang dan bekas Setiausaha Agung PAS Datuk Mustapha Ali menyerang pemimpin DAP tanpa asas. Saya juga telah menasihatkan para pemimpin DAP untuk sentiasa “berpegang dengan prinsip, menjaga etika, sopan dan jangan sekali-kali menggunakan pembohongan dan pendustaan, memfitnah, atau menggunakan gelaran yang buruk atau memburukkan peribadi sesiapa.”

Terpulang kepada Hadi jika beliau mahu membantu memanjangkan hayat politik Datuk Seri Najib Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri di tengah taufan politik skandal 1MDB dan mengecam percubaan mantan Perdana Menteri Tun Mahathir untuk menjatuhkan Najib sebagai PM (mungkin Hadi boleh juga jelaskan mengapa beliau tidak cuba menyelamatkan Tun Abdullah ketika beliau menerima tekanan yang sama daripada Mahathir selepas pilihan raya umum 2008.

Namun pemimpin PAS tidak boleh mengharapkan para pemimpin DAP berdiam diri apabila mereka membuat serangan tidak berasas terhadap pemimpin DAP seperti yang dilakukan oleh Mustapha di Kuala Terengganu kelmarin.

Mustapha mengulangi dua tuduhannya terhadap pemimpin DAP, iaitu bahawa para pemimpin DAP angkuh serta menuduh DAP menyediakan “perangkap” buat para pemimpin progresif dalam PAS yang tewas dalam pemilihan parti itu baru-baru ini untuk menjadikan Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) “proksi” DAP. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia PM Najib ready to take on raging bull Mahathir

Rowan Callick
Asia Pacific Editor
The Australian
July 18, 2015

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been under political siege for the two years since ­support for his UMNO-led ­coal­ition, which has ruled since independence in 1957, slid to less than 50 per cent at the last election.

The attacks — from outside and from within his own political camp — have intensified in recent months, becoming increasingly more personal, with a series of claims of corruption.

He has now begun to fight back, launching — and threatening to launch — defamation cases within Malaysia and overseas, ­including against Fairfax newspapers in Australia and The Wall Street Journal.

The opposition grouping led by Anwar Ibrahim attracted more voters at the 2013 general election, but failed to win power due to the gerrymander that gives rural ­ethnic Malay voters an overwhelming advantage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir has lost control of his puppet

John Garnaut
The Age
July 17, 2015

The ageing dictator thinks the decay in Malaysian politics is all about personal failings.

On Eid al-Fitr, the most festive day of the Islamic calendar in South-east Asia, Nurul Izzah Anwar should be celebrating with her family and visiting her famous father in jail. But Malaysia’s politics are now so combustible, and the name of Anwar Ibrahim so potent, that the family has been barred from resuming its conversation about the future of Malaysia until the fifth day after the breaking of the fast.

But Nurul Izzah, like the rest of middle-class Malaysia, already knows exactly what her father thinks.

“For the first time in our history, a sitting prime minister is under investigation for the misappropriation of funds,” said her father in a statement released by his lawyers this week, referring to a report that showed how $920 million was siphoned from a sovereign wealth fund into a bank account in the name of Prime Minister Najib Razak​. “From behind these prison walls, I feel a great concern and worry for my country,” said Anwar Ibrahim. “Corruption, abuse of power, arrogance and appallingly poor governance has brought Malaysia to this state. The utter collapse of the Greece economy is a warning of what can yet happen.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Selamat Hari Raya, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

By Martin Jalleh

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DAP nation-wide must be prepared for three-cornered contests, both parliamentary and state assembly, in the next general elections

With the demise of Pakatan Rakyat as a result of the PAS Muktamar resolution on June 3, 2015, DAP nation-wide must be prepared for three-cornered contests, both parliamentary and state assembly, in the next general elections.

DAP will co-operate with all progressive political parties and forces, including PKR and the progressive PAS leaders who are in the process of forming a new political party, to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state because of rampant corruption, socio-economic injustices and collapse of good governance so as to re-set the country on the correct course towards an united, harmonious, ethical, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.

I feel sad at the demise of Pakatan Rakyat after seven years of a common political struggle based on the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework (CPF) and the operational consensus principle that any PR decision must be based on the consensus of the three component parties, but when the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi repeatedly violated the PR CPF and the PR consensus principle, even ignoring the decision of the previous PAS Central Committee, followed by the PAS Muktmar resolution to sever ties between PAS and DAP, we must accept the unmistakable signs that the PR had died. Read the rest of this entry »

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With Anwar in jail, is there anyone in Malaysia who could stitch together a new coalition with support from over 112 MPs to “Save Malaysia” from becoming a failed state and re-set nation-building policies?

There has never been a Haji Raya Aidilfitri like this one in modern-day Malaysia, when Muslims and non-Muslims gather to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

Firstly, never had Ramadan sales been so poor and dispirited, with one survey estimating a plunge in Ramadan sales of as much as 20 per cent compared with last year.

Secondly, never before have national issues been so dominant during Ramadan and in Hari Raya Aidilfitri open houses – questions galore about the catalogue of financial scandals, breakdown in law and order with Low Yat race riot the latest example less than a week from Hari Raya Aidilfitri and what the future has in store for the people and the country.

But so few answers! Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Razak’s links to Malaysia fund need transparency

Financial Times
July 9, 2015

Prime minister is under pressure over allegations regarding 1MDB

Ever since Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957, the country has been ruled without interruption by one party, the United Malays National Organisation.

After more than six decades in power, UMNO, which represents the Muslim Malay majority, has much to celebrate. Malaysia has the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia, and is an all-too rare example to the world of a moderate and democratic Muslim state. But UMNO’s longstanding grip on power is under threat, raising doubts about the country’s political stability.

One sign of the pressure on the ruling party came at the 2013 general election, when Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition, came close to toppling UMNO from power. Campaigning to reform Malaysia’s political system, which he stigmatised as ossified and corrupt, Mr Anwar’s performance was good enough to raise fears within UMNO about a possible defeat at the next election in 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

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