Archive for category Corruption
― Kunjuraman Karuppan
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2013
MAY 19 ― The focus on Transparency International-Malaysia chief Datuk Paul Low’s appointment as a minister in the Najib Cabinet can only mean one thing ― that everyone is depending on him to ramp up the fight against corruption.
That includes Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who picked Low to do the job despite a beefed-up Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the creation of corruption courts.
And this is where Low should know better than to say he is depending on the prime minister’s stature to enable him to fight corruption.
The truth is, Najib is depending on Low’s stature to show that his administration is serious about fighting corruption.
If that wasn’t the case, the prime minister would have chose Tunku Abdul Aziz, perhaps, to do the job. But the former TI-M chief seems more interested in riling up the DAP than leading the fight against graft. Read the rest of this entry »
I have described Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet announced three days ago as the most unimpressive Cabinet of six Prime Ministers in the nation’s 56-year history.
I maintain this judgment despite the surprise appointment of the Transparency International-Malaysia President Datuk Pau Low as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Deparment, whose portfolio should be on Integrity and fighting corruption in Malaysia.
This is because Low has not been able to give any assurance that his appointment marks a tectonic shift in the Najib government’s commitment to make anti-corruption top priority, and not just “more-of-the-same salesmanship and gamesmanship” under the tutelage of Idris Jala’s sloganeering National Transformation Programme in the past four years – which saw Malaysia’s international standing on the anti-corruption front plunging to new lows.
To convince Malaysians that Paul Low’s appointment is not going to be another repeat of Idris Jala appointment of “more of the same” of the past four years, there are five things which Paul Low should immediately address in the first week as Minister, viz:
Full report and assessment whether the Prime Minister, BN Ministers and candidates have complied with the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge which Najib had signed on behalf of all BN leaders and candidates in Low’s presence on Feb. 20.
This will be one of my first parliamentary questions to him when the 13th Parliament convenes next month, and he should immediately commission a full investigation so that he could give full, detained and satisfactory answer to this query when Parliament meets.
Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on National Reconciliation after the 13GE, as announced by Najib after his mistaken and ill-advised comment about the 13GE results as a “Chinese tsunami” when it is a Malaysian and urban tsunami. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
May 17, 2013
MAY 17 — There is much more that is expected from Transparency International (TI) chief Datuk Paul Low now that he is a minister in the Najib administration.
That Malaysia’s fight to eliminate corruption and be transparent about contracts becomes a reality rather than just a plan or target under its transformation programme.
For too long, there has been criticisms that Putrajaya is not doing enough to fight graft despite setting up corruption courts or beefing up the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Their record has been spotty at best, prosecuting the so-called small fries rather than the big fish.
Low put it succinctly when he told The Malaysian Insider today, “It’s very easy to be critical…what is the other alternative? Shout from outside? From TI, be an armchair critic? I cannot do it alone…I’m a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. That gives me stature.”
But Low better up his game, instead of already repeating the Putrajaya mantra that ministers declaring their assets to the Prime Minister and the MACC is sufficient rather than making a public declaration. Read the rest of this entry »
In defending his seditious speech, Mohd Noor Abdullah has proven he is racist through-and-through and raised question how a closet racist could rise to be Court of Appeal judge
Former Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Noor Abdullah has compounded his crime of sedition when he defended making the most racist and seditious speech in the country in the past 44 years.
On Sunday, in his speech at the forum titled “GE13 post-mortem Muslim leadership and survival” organised by UiTM Malaysia Alumni Association and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semanjung in Kuala Lumpur, Mohd Noor warned that the Chinese Malaysians must be prepared for a backlash from the Malay community for their “betrayal” in the recently concluded 13th general election.
He said: “The Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship – that is true. Because they plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power”.
Mohd Noor’s racist and seditious speech had been defended on the ground that it was “as a whole constructive and within the boundaries of what is in the federal constitution”, and in line with his expertise as a former judge.
Can Mohd Noor quote chapter and verse as to which article or part of the Malaysian Constitution justified his making irresponsible, fictitious, inflammatory, racist and seditious allegations that the Chinese in Malaysia “plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power” or his criminal and gangsterish threat of a “Malay backlash” to a completely non-existent “Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship” ?
Read the rest of this entry »
May 16, 2013
“Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
- Mark Twain
COMMENT The Retired Armed Forces Officers’ Association (Rafoc) recently held an informal post-election talk where I was invited to be panel member. The rest of the panel were as follows and the moderator was Mej-Jen Dr Nordin Yusof (Rtd).
Lt-Jen Mohd Salleh Ismail (Rtd)
Laksdya Mat Rabi Abu Samah (Rtd)
Mej-Jen Abd Malek Shahar Harun (Rtd)
Mej-Jen Mohd Yunus Long (Rtd)
Laksma Imran Abd Hamid (Rtd)
Lt-Kdr Phua Hean Sim (Rtd)
It must be stressed that Rafoc is a non-partisan, independent organisation. The purpose of this talk from Rafoc’s own notice board is as follows:
“The ‘Get-Together Talk – GE13′ is to provide the occasion for our members to get together and talk on the recently concluded 13th general election in Malaysia – the scenario, the causes, the players and the future of the country, etc.
“We may not have to come up with resolutions or DS solutions (military jargon for ‘the correct answer to a problem’) as such. The event is also to instill to our members that we, the retired Armed Forces officers’ community must continue to be concerned on what has happened, what is happening and what will happen to our country.”
I was impressed that Rafoc offered a plurality of voices to express their opinions in these contentious times to an audience of retired officers, who were concerned of the path this country is on. Read the rest of this entry »
– Fakry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2013
MAY 15 – The appointment of Datuk Paul Low as a minister today appears to be another symbolic gesture in the fight against corruption and to promote transparency in the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
On the face of it the Transparency International president’s appointment is a nod towards how serious the government is in tackling graft.
But is it?
After all Datuk Seri Idris Jala was also made a minister when Datuk Seri Najib Razak came to power to tackle the same problems.
Now after the GTPs, ETPs and many other acronyms, and not to mention the hundreds of millions of ringgit spent, the BN government is still seen as a failure in solving issues like corruption, rising crime and government bureaucracy.
So what can Low add to the mix? Read the rest of this entry »
by P Gunasegaram
May 10, 2013
QUESTION TIME The dust from the 13th general elections has not quite settled and there is some chance it may be kicked up again as Pakatan Rakyat could challenge some of the results in court. For Barisan Nasional and Najib Abdul Razak, they rule with a minority of the votes, a morally illegitimate government that reflects a flawed and fraudulent election system.
If BN wants to pick up and regain the people’s trust and recover some lost ground from Pakatan, it simply cannot continue as before. There’s no point pointing fingers at the Chinese community when there has been an urban swing to Pakatan by all communities living in major towns, cities and suburbs.
Even if the swing of the Chinese community to Pakatan is greater than that of other communities, they are entitled. The Chinese, like any other community, can vote for any party they want without having to face racist, seditious, provocative and loaded questions from Utusan Malaysia such as ‘Apa lagi China mahu?’ Utusan is not and never will be the distributor of the largesse of the country which is owned by everyone.
There are a number of substantive issues with BN as government, top of which is corruption. Next comes a steadily deteriorating education system totally out of whack with our requirements as a people and a nation. Then there is systematic racial and religious polarisation as an instrument of control and to appeal to the Malay vote. Also, there is this issue with Najib’s wife.
Below are a list of 10 things that Najib must do if he and BN are to regain credibility in the eyes of the people and do better. If he chooses to do otherwise and makes hay while the sun shines, future governments can still hold him accountable. The change requires an about turn from the way things have been done for the past three or so decades but in a sense, he has no choice – do or perish at the polls. Do, and you may be forgiven your past transgressions and faults. Read the rest of this entry »
10 May 2013
On Sunday, after a hotly contested general election, a record electoral turnout and over half a century of essentially one-party rule, the Malaysian people edged toward change _ but chose not to make the leap.
The campaign saw the ruling Barisan National (BN or National Front) emphasise stability, continuity and economic growth, and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR or People’s Alliance) urge the end of corruption, the institution of minority rights and dealing with issues over the cost of living. In a contest that always seemed too close to call, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has held on to power, taking the prize from the indefatigable Anwar Ibrahim and his PR.
The election confronted Malaysia with big choices. While the Najib government led a tactical retreat on some elements of the old order, Mr Anwar called for its sweeping rejection.
Malaysia struggles with breaking through the “middle-income trap”. Wages have climbed to the point where the country can no longer compete internationally in labour-intensive manufacturing yet skills and systems haven’t improved so that Malaysia can compete effectively in the same product lines as more advanced countries.
Without further reforms, it is difficult to see how Malaysia can escape from this middle-income trap. Much of the struggle to find a way through has to do with escaping the legacy from the old order _ a “New Economic Policy” framed over 40 years ago that entrenched discrimination against minorities (including the significant entrepreneurial classes) and affirmative action through government-linked corporations (and systemic entrenchment of political patronage and corruption). Read the rest of this entry »
The Sun Daily
8 May 2013
The outburst in cyberspace reflects the anger of ordinary Malaysians who view such audacious campaigns as insulting their intelligence.
On a similar note, will the same newspapers publish an advertisement paid for by well-minded citizens which reads: “Can you trust a party which is led by a crook?”
This question can only be answered by none other than owners of publishing houses who have accepted and consented to publish those questionable and code-breaking advertisements.
– R. Nadeswaran, The Sun, April 25
I am disappointed with him because when I was president of the 4As, I sided with him when he took on the issue of corruption in the outdoor advertising industry. At that time, I received death threats after speaking up against illegal billboards in the Klang Valley.
After a year, the situation has remained unchanged. However, he has moved on from his anti-corruption stand to talking about advertising, but his own newspaper has accepted and carried the same advertisement.
– Datuk Vincent Lee, The Star, May 3
IN most newspapers, editors tell reporters to “write for the readers in simple language that they understand”. Readers of this newspaper will attest that we make a conscious effort to get rid of bombastic and pompous language. Read the rest of this entry »
by Azeem Ibrahim
The Huffington Post
Malaysia has in reality been a one party state for over 55 years with the ruling UMNO party winning a string of elections without much opposition. However, with the stellar rise of Anwar Ibrahim, the ruling party is facing its most tightly contested election in its history. In the final days of campaigning in an election which many pollsters now believe the government will lose, it seems to be pulling a number of desperate stunts.
Firstly is the amount of money the prime minister’s office is spending on advertising. Industry experts have identified over 50 million USD in advertising buys by the prime minister’s office alone. Sources say that the amount of money being spent on advertisements exceeds one million, a virtual buy out of all ad space on Microsoft networks (which include Skype and Bing) for the last 10 days of the campaign. On Facebook the PMO’s office, again according to sources, is spending upwards of $200,000. Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
Only then will it be able to shed its arrogance and look beyond the narrow politics of race and ethnicity, says P Ramakrishnan.
I have never felt as optimistic as I do today. Tonight’s forum has a great significance for me and for all those rooting for change. Five years ago, on this day, Malaysians shed their fear and stood up for their rights. As a result, we had the tsunami of 8 March 2008!
That tsunami would have brought about a change at the federal level as well if the GE12 had been free and fair. We were robbed of a well-deserved victory because the Barisan Nasional, the National Registration Department and the Election Commission colluded and plotted together to frustrate the aspirations of the people. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mark Baker
Editor-at-Large, The Age
Onn Mahmud was a wealthy tycoon with a bulging property portfolio when he jetted off without warning in 2007.
Number 10 Wylde Street, Potts Point, commands views to die for on a harbour not short of heart-stopping vistas. Perched high above Woolloomooloo Bay, it faces directly across the sweep of the botanical gardens to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For a while, a few years ago, it was the site for one of the most luxurious apartment developments in Australia. In 2008, the duplex penthouse in the five-storey project was sold off the plan for a record price of $20 million.
A year earlier – on the cusp of such riches – the Malaysian tycoon who had brought the project close to fruition abruptly sold the site as he quietly folded most of his substantial Sydney property portfolio and exited the Australian business scene. Read the rest of this entry »
— Philip Yeoh
The Malaysian Insider
April 15, 2013
APRIL 15 — I shall vote to give Malaysia a better chance of stemming the bleeding of our public finances and downward spiral in our standard of living.
I shall vote to protect our land and people from policies, practices and businesses that threaten our ecological safety and integrity.
I shall vote to open the door for reforms in our institutions of governance particularly the judiciary, MACC, police and the central bank. Read the rest of this entry »
By Koon Yew Yin | 13th April 2013
My object in writing this is to support Professor Dato Dr. Woo Wing Thye’s lecture on 12th April in Syuen Hotel, Ipoh. In his lecture he listed 5 root causes for our poor performance in comparison with South Korea and Taiwan.
Prof. Woo, possibly because of the election fever, tried to be politically correct and made little mention of the New Economic Policy role in our failure to keep up with our neighbours. In fact it is not only Prof. Woo who is silent on the NEP – most analysts appear to have sidelined this policy in the election debate to date.
This is a mistake as the real policy culprit explaining our failure to devlop as quickly as our neighbours (see table attached) is the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the abuse of power in the B.N. Government’s implimentation. As a result, our neighbours are doing much better than us in spite of the fact that they all did not have the natural resources such as oil and gas.
Taib has delivered a coup de grace to Najib’s pretensions of elevating “fighting corruption” as top agenda of his transformation programme when Taib is not only mightier than MACC but also the Prime Minister
The photograph of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak flamboyantly signing the Transparency International-Malaysia (TIM) “Election Integrity Pledge” on February 20 flanked by UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders, with the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the bete’ noire of international anti-corruption campaigns, glaring malevolently from the back and the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek in a somnabulant pose, will go down as one of the most unforgettable pics of the 13th General Elections.
This is because nobody, including the TIM President Paul Low, seated importantly on Najib’s left and who could not suppress a cynical sneer, really believed Najib and his Umno/BN Ministers and colleagues have even an ounce of sincerity in wanting to eradicate grand corruption and gross abuses of power in the country.
It was just a meaningless public relations exercise scripted by Najib’s political consultants and image-builders to score political points in the 13GE, destroying in the process all credibility and legitimacy of TIM’s Election Integrity Pledge.
How can Najib for instance convince Malaysians that he is now a “convert” in the fight against corruption and abuses of power when Malaysia in the past four years is most corrupt in the nation’s 56-year history when compared to the previous five Prime Ministers, whether Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir or Tun Abdullah – as testified by the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) since 1995 well as by the perceptions of all Malaysians down the 56 years of the nation’s history.
In fact, Najib proceeded to violate one item after another of the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge (EIP) before the ink of his signature was dry, chalking quite a catalogue of violations in the 44 days since his signature of the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge which made a total mockery of the four principles of the TI-M EIP, viz: Read the rest of this entry »
– The Malaysian Insider
April 04, 2013
APRIL 4 – Naughty seems to be the byword in Sarawak.
The long-serving state chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud used that word today to describe the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) for its investigations into alleged graft in timber land awards.
“They don’t deserve my cooperation because they have been naughty… and they have not been honest,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »
By Zurairi AR
The Malaysian Insider
April 05, 2013
KUCHING, April 5 — Tan Sri Taib Mahmud has challenged Global Witness to debate him on the issue of illegal land deals in Sarawak, and accused the international environmental activist group of having a hidden agenda by visiting Malaysia’s biggest state in a “sneaky way”.
He has also suggested links between Global Witness and opposition parties.
“The timing is too much to ignore … I think there is a link between them and the opposition,” said the long-serving Sarawak chief minister, who noted the release of a video showing how illegal land deals are allegedly brokered in the state happened just before with Election 2013 which will be held soon.
Global Witness’ accusations against him were also the result of second-hand information obtained from the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), Taib said in a video interview uploaded online yesterday.
He invited the international activists to observe the real situation in Sarawak themselves as he trumpeted the state’s many achievements in preserving its forests.
“Global Witness should … not (be) hiding behind some picked up second-hand tales from a fellow NGO,” Taib told the Malaysian Observer (MobTV) channel, referring to environmental and human rights group BMF. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Najib to make public all the mega defence and other contracts entered into by the Federal Government in the past three weeks since March 8 when his premiership has “expired” its credibility, authority and legitimacy
The RM4.2 billion arms deal worth RM4.2 billion entered into by the Defence Ministry at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima 2013), on top of the earlier argument that Parliament could not yet be dissolved as a caretaker government cannot enter into mega-ringgit defence deals at LIMA, has brought to the centrestage the important questions of good governance and public integrity and the issue of corruption in Malaysia – especially what is the proper and ethical conduct of a government which is reaching close to or gone past its “expiry” period.
There can be no contention that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is already the country’s longest unelected Prime Minister without a mandate of his own after taking over the reins of premiership from Tun Abdullah Badawi is already an “expired” Prime Minister leading an “expired” Cabinet and Government in the past three weeks since March 8, when it lost all public credibility, authority and legitimacy as the government of Malaysia.
Why can’t the RM4.2 billion arms deal in LIMA wait until after the 13GE for whichever government, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, to make the final decision? Read the rest of this entry »
By Emily Neil
28 March 2013
Xi Jinping makes problems for luxury goods.
A more unusual, but strong, market force is at work in China: an anti-corruption drive led by the new president, Xi Jinping. The giving of expensive luxury items to government officials has been a standard part of bureaucratic and business life in China, and has contributed in part to the dramatic growth in revenues and profits for multinational luxury goods companies operating in the country. Mr Xi however has swept in with a determination to stamp out showy bureaucracy and waste, and high end restaurants have suffered as official banquets have been cancelled and luxury local liquor makers have seen demand drop significantly.
All this will send a shiver through Scotch whisky makers, as well as other luxury goods companies in the UK and Europe. The most recent evidence comes from Pernod Ricard, owner of the Chivas Regal brand, which has seen sales of its Scotch whisky fall by a double digit rate  over the critical Chinese New Year period. Read the rest of this entry »
by Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
March 27, 2013
The Financial Times reported that the prime minister declined to address the expose by Global Witness directly during the interview. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is “equally as concerned about corruption” as its critics but the problem cannot go away overnight, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in a Financial Times (FT) interview carried today, in the wake of a damning expose on Sarawak’s timber scandals.
The international financial daily reported that the prime minister declined to address the expose by Global Witness (GW) directly during the interview, pointing out that Malaysian graftbusters were already investigating the allegations against Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“Prostitution and corruption are two things that mankind has had to live with for so long. But we are determined to tackle it. It is a scourge. But it is something that will not go away overnight,” he was quoted saying.
In the article describing the likely heated contest that Najib will face in Election 2013, FT noted that Umno is vulnerable on the topic of corruption, which the federal opposition will use as its key weapon on the campaign trail. Read the rest of this entry »