Archive for category Corruption

The tragedy and farce that is the PKFZ

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
January 13, 2014

This is a fact of Malaysian political life: apart from the government’s favourite target Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, all other ministers or former ministers have never seen the inside of a jail.

There will be a few near misses here – one that comes to mind is the 1982 murder of an Umno politician – and there but no one pays the ultimate price for whatever they did while in office.

Today, former MCA deputy president and retired minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy joined the long list of former ministers who were spared incarceration when prosecutors dropped three cheating charges against him in connection with the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Pakatan no different from Barisan?

– Richard Loh
The Malaysian Insider
January 13, 2014

Is this equation true:

90% positive + 10% negative = 90% negative + 10% positive

With Malaysia claiming that its education system is among the best in the world there can be no argument that many educated Malaysians would say that this is true.

The above equation is an example of Malaysians learning when they see the 10% of Pakatan Rakyat’s negative performances as equal to Umno-BN’s 10% positive performance – hence terming PR no difference from Umno-BN. The 90% positive performance against Umno-BN’s 90% negative performance is ignored.

Malaysians are using the Selangor Assembly salary hikes, the Jais raid and Penang Chief Minister’s Mercedes-Benz to justify and conclude that PR is no difference from Umno-BN. You have the right to argue that the three issues were wrong, depending on how you judge them and from whose point of view you are hearing and reading from.

There is nothing wrong with the Selangor Assembly salary hike and the Penang Chief Minister’s Mercedes-Benz which I have given my point of views in my earlier two articles here and here. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Empire strikes back – the plot for a putsch by reactionary anti-democratic forces thickens with the call for a return of Dr M to Putrajaya

The Empire strikes back – and the plot for a putsch by reactionary anti-democratic forces thickens with the call for a return of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to Putrajaya.

The blog by former Information Minister and one of Mahathir’s top propaganda minions, Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, for the return of Mahathir to Putrajaya to help the Barisan Nasional federal government “tackle raging racial, religious and economic issues” is not only a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak but marks a new stage in the conspiracy and plot by reactionary anti-democratic forces in UMNO and Barisan Nasional government for a putsch.

Recent signs and developments that the plot and conspiracy of the reactionary anti-democratic forces in UMNO and Barisan Nasional government for a putsch, whose objective seems to be still fluid ranging from a minimum programme for a halt and change of the various transformation programmes launched under the Najib administration regardless of the extent of their implementation to a maximum programme for a change of Prime Minister, include the following:
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Open Letter to PM and Cabinet – the first Cabinet meeting today should send out a clear and unmistakable message to end the drift and loss of leadership and direction to create an united, harmonious, just, competitive and great Malaysian nation

Open Letter to Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers

I am taking full advantage of the Age of Information Technology which enables the instant communication of information with information travelling at the speed of light
to pen this Open Letter to the Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers just before they start this morning their first Cabinet meeting of the New Year of 2014.

I urge the Prime Minister and Ministers to send out a clear and unmistakable message in their first Cabinet meeting to end the drift and loss of leadership and direction to create an united, harmonious, just, competitive and great Malaysian nation.

The Cabinet cannot do better than start their first meeting by discussing and digesting the question eloquently posed yesterday by a Good Samaritan in Malaysia, Tan Sri Robert Phang who asked “Why are we quarrelling over God?”

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All pain, no gain

Dean Johns
Malaysiakini
Jan 3, 2014

Far from the analgesic or even anaesthetic effect he intended, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s claim in his New-Year message that he “feels the rakyat’s pain” served only to reinforce for most of us the fact that he is the rakyat’s pain.

In other words, Najib is the present-day prime example, principal promoter and very personification of the chronically painful BN regime.

And since the moment BN demonstrated the true depth of its contempt for the Malaysian people by presenting this pompous hypocrite with the nation’s premiership, he’s proven nothing but a pain and produced not a grain of gain.

Except, of course, to himself, his relatives, accomplices, cronies and others that his reign has kept aboard the BN gravy-train, while the rest of the country has been going steadily down the drain.

‘Drain’ being the operative word when it comes to Najib’s ‘management’ of Malaysia’s finances, of which untold billions have been stolen and illegally smuggled overseas, and further countless billions squandered on bribery, vote-buying and sundry other forms of corruption.

And ‘brain-drain’ being the most appropriate term for how Najib and his operatives have otherwise continued to prove the bane of ‘ordinary’ Malaysians, considering the steady decline in public education over which they have so preposterously presided, and their continued efforts to keep the people ignorant by denying them their constitutional right to a free and informative press.

In short, so far from feeling the people’s pain as he so piously feigns, Najib appears positively sadistic in his intent to inflict more of the same. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apakah Umno telah berubah daripada sebuah parti pembina negara menjadi parti pemusnah negara dengan sokongan Muhyiddin terhadap protes di luar gereja dan Noh Omar mempertahankan protes Umno Selangor terhadap Kristian?

Peristiwa-peristiwa yang berlaku pada beberapa hari pertama tahun baru 2014 membuatkan rakyat Malaysia berfikir tentang masa depan negara ini.

Salah satu persoalan meresahkan rakyat Malaysia ialah sama ada Umno telah berubah daripada sebuah parti pembina negara menjadi parti pemusnah negara dengan sokongan Muhyiddin terhadap protes di luar gereja dan Noh Omar mempertahankan protes Umno Selangor terhadap Kristian.

Pada hakikatnya, sokongan yang diberikan oleh Muhyiddin dan Noh Omar terhadap tindakan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) yang menyerbu Persatuan Alkitab Malaysia (BSM) dengan bantuan penuh Polis membangkitkan persoalan serius tentang keikhlasan, keseriusan, dan komitmen para pemimpin Umno terhadap jaminan asas kebebasan beragama yang diberikan oleh perlembagaan untuk semua rakyat Malaysia, selain Penyelesaian 10 Perkara yang disahkan oleh Jemaah Menteri pada April 2011 untuk mengakhiri kontroversi Alkitab.
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Five national crisis scorching the country should top the agenda of a National Reconciliation Summit of BN and PR leaders

For ten days between the Christmas National Open House 2013 in Penang on December 25 and the 2014 New Year monthly morning assembly of civil servants in the Prime Minister’s Department this morning, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak disappeared from the public view.

Apart from the 2014 New Year Message on New Year’s Eve, which would have been drafted by his coterie of highly-paid consultants well in advance, there was not a word from the country’s Prime Minister although the country had never swirled and whirled with more disturbing developments and events which included:

• The deepening economic crisis caused by a series of price hikes and looming avalanche of more price hikes in the coming weeks and months culminating in the introduction of the GST at six per cent in April 2015;

• Crisis of deteriorating national educational standards for the past decade, with the country heading further south with the results of TIMSS 2011 and PISA 2012, and the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin making himself “scarce” from public to avoid having to “square the circle” of how Malaysian students can perform several educational miracles under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 to catapult to top-third of TIMSS and PISA international educational assessments when Malaysian students have continued to plunge in international educational standards;

• Crisis on the corruption front, despite the biggest budgets in past few years for the anti-corruption agency, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. In the last 19 years when Transparency International maintained its Corruption Perception Index, Malaysia achieved the dubious distinction as one of the countries which had been downgraded both in TI CPI ranking and score, as well as losing out to several countries which had lower CPI ranking and score in 1995.
Now, we are at the risk in the near future of being overtaken by countries including China and Indonesia which had been behind Malaysia and at the bottom of TI CPI in 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

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Religious without religion

– Muhammad As’ad
The Malaysian Insider
December 28, 2013

To be a religious believer we have to follow certain strict rules which cannot be violated. For instance as Muslims we believe that Allah is the only God and the Prophet Muhammad is His messenger; we must regularly observe the five daily prayers, zakat, fasting during the month of Ramadhan, and the haj at least once in a lifetime — all these are the five pillars of Islam. As Muslims, we cannot evade those five pillars except for some specific exceptions.

Another important step is to make religion a part of our life. The number of Muslims in this country is remarkable. How can we say that we are not religious?

However, Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perception Index showed that Indonesia was ranked 118 out of 176 countries; worse than in 2011 when Indonesia was ranked 100. The Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI) even issued an edict in 2000, stating that bribery, corruption and gratification are forbidden.

Nonetheless, these rules fail to deter corruption. For instance, the treasurer of MUI, Chairunnisa, who is also a lawmaker of the Golkar party, was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) along with the former Constitutional Court chief Akil Mochtar. We probably have religious piety but we certainly do not have social piety.

In terms of religiosity, we are quite remarkable. We can see many Indonesian people celebrating religious activities, rituals and commemorations. Nevertheless, this religiosity does not seem to influence our life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Corruption, not liberalism, is Malays’ real enemy

– Hafiz Ahmad
The Malaysian Insider
December 22, 2013

The Malays are in a state of delusion. They cannot differentiate between their real problems and the delusional ones. I could not understand why they are paranoid with liberalism, pluralism, Shiism and Christianity, as these have no effect in their daily lives.

Some Malays don’t even understand what liberalism really means. If anyone can explain what is the real threat of liberalism in our lives, I will be very grateful. Please enlighten me, I’m so confused.

While people are struggling to put food in their mouths, there are those busy pointing their fingers at the 9% Christian population, claim that Christians are trying to establish a Christian state in Malaysia.

With the exception of Vatican, there is no Christian state in this world. Even Italy with a strong Catholic population does not claim to be Christian country.

Are Malays out of their mind? Muslims comprise 61.3% of the country’s population and Christians only 9.2 %. Where is the threat? It is worse when some religious bigots called Pembina fire up this delusional issue by organizing forums to make Muslims believe there is a threat from Christians. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Bank president calls corruption ‘Public Enemy No. 1′

Reuters
Thursday Dec 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – The World Bank took a bold stance on fighting corruption on Thursday, with President Jim Yong Kim saying that corruption at both the public and private level is the scourge of the developing world.

The development institution, which long shied away from tackling corruption because it wanted to steer clear of politics, on Thursday said it plans to hire more experts in the rule of law and other governance issues.

Kim said corruption must be at the center of the development lender’s work.

“Every dollar that a corrupt official or a corrupt business person puts in their pocket is a dollar stolen from a pregnant woman who needs health care,” Kim said during a panel. “In the developing world, corruption is public enemy No. 1.”

The announcement shows just how much the bank has changed since the 1990s, when corruption was a taboo subject in an institution that has 188 member countries and shuns picking sides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shafee’s and Ramli’s affidavits: A criminal conspiracy?

– Mat Zain Ibrahim
The Malaysian Insider
December 17, 2013

Many people may not realise that the affidavits affirmed by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk Ramli Yusoff, which are the subject of my police report last Sunday, were filed in court by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Quite simply, what I am saying here is that the full contents of both the affidavits have been vetted, scrutinised and cleared for filing by the Chambers.

The people must also be told that on or about November 1, Ramli had filed a suit against Abdul Gani Patail, Musa Hassan and several others including the government, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police claiming damages totalling RM128.5 million.

And the person who advised and encouraged Ramli to use the black-eye incident evidence as the main cause of action of the suit was none other than Shafee.

Incidentally, Shafee is also the person whom I’ve alleged in my report to have concealed material evidence against Gani and Musa which Shafee received from me on September 24, 2013.

Now, against this backdrop, Gani must explain how could he have allowed both Shafee’s and Ramli’s false affidavits to be filed in court through the AG’s Chambers? Especially Ramli’s, unless a deal was struck. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia berdepan kemungkinan untuk gagal mencapai sasaran mengisi tangga 30 teratas dalam CPI TI pada tahun 2020 dan malah dipintas oleh Cina dan malahan Indonesia dari segi kedudukan dan skor dalam CPI TI

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri dan CEO Unit Pengurusan Prestasi (Pemandu) Datuk Seri Idris Jala girang apabila Malaysia mendaki dari tangga ke 54 ke tangga ke 53 dalam Indeks Persepsi Rasuah (CPI) Transparency International (TI) tahun ini lalu mengisytiharkan bahawa Pemandu mensasarkan untuk memasuki senarai 30 teratas menjelang tahun 2020.

Ya, kedudukan Malaysia dalam CPI TI tahun ini meningkat satu anak tangga menempati kedudukan ke-53 dari 177 negara berbanding tangga ke-54 tahun lalu, manakala skor CPI TI negara ini semakin baik pada 50/100 mata berbanding 49/100 mata untuk tahun lalu.

Bagaimanapun, satu hakikat yang tidak dapat dinafikan ialah bahawa untuk tahun kelima berturut-turut di bawah kepimpinan Najib (2009-2013), Malaysia mengisi kedudukan lebih bawah dalam CPI TI berbanding di zaman Tun Mahathir dan Tun Abdullah.

Perkara berkenaan boleh dilihat dalam carta berkenaan CPI TI di bawah (1995-2013):

Perdana Menteri Kedudukan terbaik Skor terbaik Kedudukan paling buruk Skor paling rendah
Mahathir 23(1995) 5.32/10 (1996) 37 (2003) 4.8/10 (2000)
Abdullah 39(2004) 5.1/10 (2005/7/8) 47 (2008) 5/10 (2004/6)
Najib 53 (2013) 50/100 (2013) 60 (2011) 4.3/10 (2011)

Dari satu sudut, CPI TI 2013 mengesahkan kenyataan Mahathir dua hari lalu yang menyebut rasuah kini semakin teruk berbanding ketika beliau menjadi Perdana Menteri selama 22 tahun (walaupun Abdullah juga boleh menyebut perkara yang sama bagi kepimpinan beliau selama lima tahun).

Bagaimanapun, Mahathir telah mengabaikan satu lagi hakikat – Malaysia mula terjerumus ke dalam rasuah sejak kepimpian beliau, memandangkan di bawah tiga Perdana Menteri pertama, iaitu Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, dan Tun Hussein Onn, rasuah bukan masalah besar dan terkawal.

Malah, sehingga tahun tujuh puluhan, skandal terbesar di Parlimen adalah skandal Bank Rakyat, berjumlah RM65 juta, yang saya bahaskan di Parlimen pada tahun 1979.

Sejak tahun lapan puluhan, rasuah dan skandal kewangan lebih parah, melihatkan jumlah jauh lebih besar, misalnya skandal RM2.5 bilion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF), RM600 juta skandal pembelian timah Maminco, RM1.5 bilion skandal Co-operative Finance, sehingga kepada skandal pertukaran wang asing Bank Negara yang melibatkan wang sejumlah RM30 bilion serta skandal RM11 bilion Perwaja di tahun 90an. Terkini, kita menyaksikan skandal berbilion ringgit Scorpene dan pemerolehan keperluan pertahanan serta skandal RM12.5 bilion Zon Perdagangan Bebas Pelabuhan Klang.

Akar rasuah – politik wang dalam parti-parti kerajaan – tidak dipangkas dan malah semakin merebak seperti dianggarkan oleh orang dalam Umno yang menyebut bahawa untuk memenangi kerusi Naib Presiden Umno, diperlukan lebih RM10 juta, manakala untuk memenangi kerusi majlis tertinggi Umno, diperlukan lebih sejuta ringgit.

Politik wang besar-besaran juga turut berlaku dalam pemilihan parti MCA dan MIC – sehinggakan Presiden MCA menerima perkara ini sebagai satu hakikat dalam pemilihan parti apabila beliau menasihatkan perwakilan MCA dalam pemilihan parti MCA yang bakal menjelang untuk mengambil sikap seperti para pengundi dalam PRU13, iaitu “Ambil wang; jangan beri undi” (seperti yang dipaparkan terang-terangan dalam judul laporan sebuah akhbar Cina).

Meneliti kedudukan dan skor untuk 177 buah negara dalam CPI TI 2013 serta rekod selama 19 tahun CPI TI (1995-2013), tiada sebab dan tiada asas untuk sesiapa percaya bahawa sasaran Malaysia untuk memasuki senarai 30 teratas dalam CPI TI pada tahun 2020 adalah sasaran yang realistik atau mampu dicapai.

Malah, menjelang tahun 2020, Malaysia mungkin dipintas oleh Cina dan Indonesia dari segi kedudukan dan skor CPI TI. Dalam CPI TI pertama pada tahun 1995, Malaysia ditempatkan di tangga ke 23 dari 41 buah negara, dengan skor 5.28 dari 10, manakala Cina dan Indonesia ditempatkan di tangga dua terakhir, dengan skor CPI masing-masing 2.16 dan 1.94 dari 10 (pada peratusan 90 terbawah bagi skor CPI).

Jika Malaysia hendak menduduki tangga 30 teratas dalam CPI tahun 2020, kita perlu mencapai peratusan 35 teratas skor CPI dan bukan hanya 50/100, memandangkan skor lima buah negara yang berada di tangga ke 26 hingga 30 teratas dalam CPI TI 2013 adalah 69/100 bagi Austria UAE, 68/100 Estonia Qatar dan 64/100 Botswana.

Bagaimanapun, sejak 19 tahun lalu, Malaysia tergolong dalam salah sebuah negara yang kedudukan dan skornya dalam CPI TI merosot, malah telah dipintas oleh negara-negara yang mendapat kedudukan dan skor CPI lebih rendah pada tahun 1995, dan kini berdepan kemungkinan dipintas oleh negara-negara yang berada di kedudukan terbawah dalam CPI pada tahun 1995, iaitu Cina dan Indonesia.

Sebagai contoh, Malaysia berada pada kedudukan ke 23, dengan skor CPI 5.28/10 pada tahun 1995, di depan Taiwan (kedudukan ke 25, skor 5.08), Sepanyol (kedudukan ke 26, skor 4.35), Korea Selatan (kedudukan 27, skor 4.29), Hungary (kedudukan 28, skor 4.12), dan Turki (kedudukan 29, skor 4.10). Tetapi untukCPI TI 2013, Malaysia berada di bawah Taiwan (kedudukan 36, skor 61), Spain (kedudukan 40, skor 59), South Korea (kedudukan 46, skor 55), Hungary (kedudukan 47, skor 54) dan diekori rapat oleh Turki (kedudukan 53, skor 50).

Tidak seperi Malaysia yang mencapai peratusan skor lebih rendah sejak 19 tahun yang lalu, iaitu 5.28/10 pada tahun 1995 kepada 50/100 pada tahun 2013, semua negara Asia yang lain memperbaiki peratusan skor sejak 19 tahun yang lalu, misalnya Thailand dari 2.79/100 kepada 35/100; India dari 2.78/10 kepada 36/100; Philippines dari 2.77/10 kepada 36/100; Pakistan dari 2.25/10 kepada 28/100; China dari 2.16/10 kepada 40/100 dan Indonesia dari 1.94/10 kepada 32/100.

Rakyat Malaysia perlu bimbang kerana berdasarkan trend ini, Malaysia mungkin dipintas oleh Indonesia dan Cina sebelum tahun 2020 dari segi kedudukan dan skor CPI TI, melainkan Malaysia segera bertindak dan menunjukkan keseriusannya membasmi rasuah.

Bagaimana Malaysia hendak menjaga air mukanya jika dunia melihat Malaysia lebih rasuah daripada Indonesia dan Cina sebelum berakhir dekad ini?

Apakah ini nasib yang menanti Malaysia dari segi kedudukan dan skor CPI TI sebelum tahun 2020?

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Berselindung di sebalik isu perkauman

– Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud
The Malaysian Insider
December 07, 2013

Pada November lalu, bekas Naib Canselor Universiti Malaya, Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon telah berkata di Persidangan Asia Barat dan Afrika di Kuala Lumpur bahawa isu perkauman digunakan oleh sesetengah ahli politik di Malaysia bagi melindungi kegiatan rasuah yang dilakukan pemimpin terbabit.

Beliau juga berkata isu perkauman dimainkan bagi melindungi salah laku selain mengelak mereka yang terlibat daripada dituduh atas aktiviti tidak bermoral itu.

Saya tertarik dengan kata-kata beliau memandangkan di Malaysia terdapat satu gabungan parti politik yang masih mengamalkan politk perkauman dan gabungan ini berada di posisi di mana rasuah boleh berlaku secara berleluasa.

Apabila seorang cendiakawan memberi komen sedemikian, kita pasti tertanya-tanya apakah yang beliau tahu, dan ingin mengetahui secara lanjut apa yang dimaksudkan oleh Tan Sri Ghauth Jasmon? Sejauh manakah dan apakah contoh-contoh sifat perkauman dan kegiatan rasuah berkait di negara ini. Read the rest of this entry »

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Instead of being in top 30 of TI CPI in 2020, Malaysia faces risk of being overtaken by China and even Indonesia in both TI CPI ranking and score

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of Performance Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) Datuk Seri Idris Jala is ecstatic about Malaysia’s rise from 54 to 53 in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) this year, declaring that Pemandu is aiming for the country to be in the top 30 by 2020.

Yes, Malaysia’s TI CPI ranking this year has improved by one step, placed 53 out of 177 countries compared to last year’s 54th ranking, while the TI CPI score has improved to 50/100 compared to last year’s 49/100.

However, the ineluctable fact is that for the fifth consecutive year, the Najib premiership (2009-2013) has registered a lower TI CPI ranking than under the two previous Prime Ministers, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.

This is illustrated by the following chart on TI CPI 1995-2013:

Prime Minister Best ranking Best score Worst ranking Worst score
Mahathir 23(1995) 5.32/10 (1996) 37 (2003) 4.8/10 (2000)
Abdullah 39(2004) 5.1/10 (2005/7/8) 47 (2008) 5/10 (2004/6)
Najib 53 (2013) 50/100 (2013) 60 (2011) 4.3/10 (2011)

In a sense, the TI CPI 2013 is a vindication of Mahathir’s boast two days ago that corruption is worse now than during his 22 years as Prime Minister (although Abdullah can also make the same boast about his five-year premiership).
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Masanya sudah tiba untuk kita berusaha bersama demi merealisasikan Impian Malaysia, dan menyelamatkan rakyat daripada ‘Mimpi Ngeri Malaysia’ yang panjang ini

Masanya sudah tiba untuk kita berusaha bersama demi merealisasikan Impian Malaysia, dan menyelamatkan rakyat daripada ‘Mimpi Ngeri Malaysia’ yang panjang ini

Saya bangun untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perbahasan peringkat Jawatankuasa Bajet 2014 mengenai Jabatan Perdana Menteri dan Jabatan-jabatan yang lain termasuk Majlis Keselamatan Negera (MKN), Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional (JPNIN), Biro Tatanegara, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM), Jabatan Peguam Negara, Pejabat-pejabat Setiausaha Persekutuan, Sabah dan Sarawak.

Pertama sekali, saya ingin merakamkan ucapan takziah kepada keluarga Allahyarham Mohd Raffli Abdul Malik yang mati ditembak di Kuantan, Pahang; keluarga Allahyarham Norazita Abu Talib, yang menjadi mangsa rompakan Ambank tempoh hari; serta Allahyarham Hussain Ahmad Najadi, yang turut menjadi mangsa tembakan beberapa lama dahulu.

Kesemua mangsa jenayah ini adalah korban-korban tidak berdosa akibat daripada kelalaian dan kerakusan pihak yang berkenaaan mengejar kuasa dan jawatan, sehingga mengabaikan persoalan integriti, tanggungjawab kepada negara dan impian besar rakyat Malaysia.

Saya juga ingin merakamkan ucapan takziah kepada keluarga mangsa warga Taiwan dalam tragedi pembunuhan dan penculikan di Pulau Pum-Pum beberapa hari sudah. Ternyata Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) tidaklah efektif dalam menjaga keselamatan negara sungguhpun ia ditubuhkan sebagai tindakbalas terhadap peristiwa pencerobohan di Lahad Datu. Walaupun Ketua Polis Negara dan Menteri Dalam Negeri menyifatkan ini sebagai kejadian terpencil, nyawa yang hilang pasti tidak dapat diganti. Keyakinan rakyat terhadap kesungguhan pihak berkuasa dalam melaksanakan tugas menjaga keselamatan negara dan rakyat jelata sekali lagi berkecai.
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‘Fat Leonard’ fallout: Officers talk growing bribery scandal and ‘epic parties’

Navy Times
By Sam Fellman
Nov. 15, 2013|

The aircraft carrier John C. Stennis made the record books in September 2012 when it became the first U.S. flattop to pull into Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, a bustling port that borders the strategically important South China Sea.

While a milestone for the U.S. Navy and the ship’s crew, it was a windfall for a deep-pocketed Malaysian “fixer” who now stands accused of bribing and manipulating active-duty officers to steer the carrier there — and to make millions overcharging the service. The $2.7 million port call cost more than double the average for carrier stops at other Malaysian ports.

Federal prosecutors allege that Leonard Glenn Francis, the head of the Navy’s primary husbanding company in Asia, regularly enticed naval officers to direct warships to more lucrative ports for his business by offering bribes including junkets, prostitutes, cash — even “Lion King” tickets.

Francis was privy to classified ship movements and, in cases like the Stennis, even clandestinely orchestrated the ship’s port calls to suit his bottom line, according to the allegations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Election Commission chairman doesn’t see facts!

P Ramakrishnan
Aliran
7 November 2013

It is incredulous that Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is totally blind to facts. But that seems to be his speciality.

A crowd jostles for cheap essential foodstuff being sold at a BN carnival in Sungai Limau on 3 November 2013 – The Malaysian Insider pic by Zulkifli Sulong

He is unable to see the various election abuses and offences blatantly committed by the Barisan Nasional in their true perspective. He seems to be an expert in explaining away these abuses as non-electoral offences. Read the rest of this entry »

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Racial extremism bad for economy, warns ex-diplomat

Lawrence Yong
Malaysiakini
Nov 7, 2013

Malaysia will lose its competitive economic edge if its politics continue to cater to racial and religious extremes, a former senior diplomat warned today.

Razali Ismail, who was a diplomat for 35 years before retiring in 1998, warned that although polemics – the practise of one-sided political arguments – was inescapable in multi-racial, multi-religious Malaysia, it must not translate into a welfare state.

“If you just want to be a backwater country somewhere, that’s a different story.

“But we are in a strategic position (for economic growth) …all the differences between us have to be worked out,” Razali said at the Prime Lecture on Culture 2013, where he was invited to speak on “polemical politics” by the Tourism and Culture Ministry.

To emphasise his point, Razali cited that Malaysia’s rivals, such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, already woke up to global realities and are well on their way to fortifying their own economies to attract foreign investments.

During his years as a diplomat, including as ambasadors to several European counctries, he saw almost all countries he served in as seeing Malaysia as a stable country.

However, Razali added, his international friends have of late started to question the divisive goings-on in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apakah Mahathir dan Mahathirisme akan menghadapi kegagalan ketiga atau terakhir sejak enam bulan lalu dalam pilihanraya kecil esok?

Pilihanraya kecil Sungai Limau esok akan menjawab persoalan: Apakah Mahathir dan Mahathirisme akan menghadapi kegagalan ketiga atau terakhir sejak enam bulan lalu?

Minggu lalu, bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Mahathir berkata kumpulan pelampau sedang menguasai Malaysia pada ketika Barisan Nasional sedang bergelut untuk menangani masalah kemerosotan sokongan orang ramai terhadap pakatan parti pemerintah itu walaupun ia masih menguasai kerajaan.

Benar dakwaan Mahathir bahawa kerajaan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak lemah dan ia merasa perlu untuk melayan “tuntutan-tuntutan tidak munasabah” daripada puak pelampau untuk mengekalkan sokongan orang ramai. Tetapi beliau melakukan kesilapan dengan mendakwa puak pelampau itu terdiri daripada anggota Pakatan Rakyat.

Hakikatnya, Mahathir sendiri boleh dianggap mewakili puak pelampau berkenaan yang menjadikan “kumpulan majoriti yang moderat” sebagai tebusan dengan segala pembohongan mereka sehingga menjejaskan usaha pembinaan dan pembangunan negara serta penyatuan warga.

Dalam majlis pengumuman calon Pakatan Rakyat di Sungai Limau 21 Oktober lalu, saya telah menyatakan harapan agar pilihanraya kecil itu menjadi model bagi politik bersi, jujur, dan bermaruah dengan memastikan pembohongan dan kepalsuan tidak disebarkan dan taktik serangan peribadi atau politik wang tidak digunakan.
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Will Mahathir and Mahathirism suffer a third and probably final set-back in six months in the Sungai Limau by-election tomorrow?

The Sungai Limau by-election tomorrow will answer the question: Will Mahathir and Mahathirism suffer a third and probably final set-back in six months?

Last week, former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir said that the “lunatic fringe” have taken a hold of Malaysia as the ruling Barisan Nasional struggles to deal with diminished public support despite retaining its hold on government.

Mahathir is right when he claimed that the administration of current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is weak and feels it needs to entertain “unreasonable demands” from extremist groups to remain relevant to the public but wrong when he identified such extremist groups as coming from Pakatan Rakyat.

In fact, Mahathir has himself become the very personification of the extremist “lunatic fringe” holding the “moderate majority” to ransom with their “lunatic” lies and falsehoods, undermining and even sabotaging the country’s nation-building, national unity and national development. Read the rest of this entry »

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