Archive for category Judiciary

Arifin Zakaria should explain whether the Ayer Molek case is one reason why Justice Hishammuddin has been denied elevation to the Federal Court twice – a case of former CJ Eusoffe Chin exacting his final vengeance

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, who is also Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), should explain whether the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case is one reason why Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus has been by-passed twice and denied elevation to the Federal Court, the first time in September 2013 and the second time in the latest batch of judicial elevations this year – a case of former Chief Justice Tun Eusoffe Chin exactly his final vengeance.

Arifin owes not only the local and international legal and jurist community, but the whole nation, a proper and satisfactory explanation as a series of recent cases and events have put the Malaysian judiciary in the dock as to its ability to uphold a truly independent judiciary with just rule of law.

The latest judicial shocker is the revelation by retired Court of Appeal judge Justice K.C. Vohrah who wrote in an in-house Malaysian judiciary publication last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary that the former chief justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek case in 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

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KC Vohrah: Ex-CJ Eusoff tried to subvert judge

By Hafiz Yatim
Malaysiakini
Feb 27, 2015

In yet another expose of serious transgressions committed by the Malaysian judiciary, it has now now alleged that former Lord president and Chief Justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case in 1995.

The subversion has been alleged by a now retired Court of Appeal judge who made the claims in an in-house publication of the Malaysian judiciary last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary.

Former Justice KC Vohrah – who sat on the panel hearing the Ayer Molek appeal – wrote in his article that one of the judges of the three-memer panel was asked to meet Eusoff.

Besides Vohrah – who was then a High Court judge co-opted to sit at the Court of Appeal – the other judges who sat for the case were Court of Appeal judges NH Chan and Siti Norma Yaakob, the latter who later rose to become the first female Chief Judge of Malaya.

Vohrah alleged in his article – titled – ‘In the Court of Appeal, during the winds of change’ that Eusoff called the judge into to his chambers before the appeal was heard and when the judge entered, the CJ pointed to a pile of files on his table. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the Malaysian Government Has Reneged on Political Reform

Koon Yew Yin
26th Feb 2015

This morning I listened to a local business station which carried an interview with Tom Greatex. He is a British Labour Party politician who is head of the All Party Committee on Malaysia of the UK Parliament. In the interview, although cautious, Greatex expressed great concern with the recent human rights record of the Government, especially after all the big talk by the Prime Minister of doing away with the Sedition Act, of political reform and being moderate.

His visit follows the recent statement by the British Foreign Minister who, immediately after the Federal Court’s confirmation of Anwar’s conviction, said that “[Anwar’s] case raises worrying questions about the independence of the judiciary and rule of law in Malaysia….the integrity of the rule of law is a key part of its success, as are the values of moderation and tolerance. We encourage Malaysia to recognise the importance of international confidence in its judicial system and to restore trust in its commitment to human rights.”

This is diplomatic language for saying that there is little or no international confidence in our judicial system when it comes to dealing with the opposition. It is also a polite way of saying that the Brits do not trust our commitment to human rights.

The British are not the only countries that have expressed concern. Our printed media has tried to minimize or even suppress it but strong words have also come from European Union countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Stronger criticism on the Anwar case have come from human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights which have called the verdict “disgraceful” and a “black day” for justice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tun Arifin Zakaria is duty-bound as Chairman of JAC to satisfactory account for the by-passing of promotion to Federal Court of the country’s most respected serving judge, Justice Hishammdin

The Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria is duty bound as Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to satisfactorily account for the by-passing of promotion to the Federal Court of the country’s most respected serving judge, Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus.

Arifin had previously tried to shirk from his duty of national accountability when he was asked in September 2013 why Justice Hishammuddin was by-passed from promotion to the Federal Court in the batch of judicial elevations at the time, claiming that the elevation of judges was made without the influence of anyone and that it was at the prerogative of the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Arifin is right that the elevation of judges is not 100 per cent the prerogative of the JAC, but it is beneath the dignity of the Chief Justice to hum and haw claiming that it is unfair for the media or anyone to question the fate of any particular judge.

It has been reported that Justice Hishammuddin’s name was omitted from the promotion list in 2013 as a result of a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office, after the recommendation of his elevation to the Federal Court had passed through the JAC.
Justice Hishamudin’s name was missing again on the promotions list released on Feb. 16 this year, this time by-passed in favour of Justice Zaharah Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will the Chief Justice of Malaysia be leading Federal Court judges to go on nation-wide roadshow to justify and win in the court of public opinion their decisions against Anwar which have not found support among the majority of thinking Malaysians

Will the Chief Justice of Malaysia be leading Federal Court judges to go on a nation-wide roadshow to justify and win in the court of public opinion their decisions against Anwar which have not found support among the majority of thinking Malaysians?

This will the next sequel to the unprecedented, unhealthy and undesirable national roadshow by Tan Sri Muhamad Shafee Abdullah, the lead prosecutor of Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial, to character-assassinate, vilify and smear Anwar’s reputation and character although Anwar is languishing in Sungei Buloh prison.

In the second stop of Shafee’s nation-wide road-show on Saturday night in Permatang Pauh, the media were told that they were banned from reporting the event – which was even more unfair to Anwar as it meant that Shafee was at liberty to say anything he liked against Anwar as he was hiding under protection of secrecy from media reports!

Mohd Azmi Abdul, the president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations, in his article in Malaysiakini “Let’s stop this ‘Sodomy Politics’, now” summed up not only the objection but the repulsion of ordinary decent Malaysians, Muslim and non-Muslim, at such depths plumbed by those in authority in the vile campaign of character-assassination against Anwar, when he asked: Read the rest of this entry »

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Sirul cannot continue to equivocate about the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu but must show genuine remorse for the killing under orders if he wants Malaysians and the world to be equally outraged at his betrayal by the murder “mastermind”

The latest from former police commando Sirul Azhar, one of the two convicted murderers of the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu who is in Australia challenging the bid of the Malaysian government to extradite him to return to the death row in Malaysia, is that he had never admitted to the murder of Altantuya.

Sirul has been maintaining in his telephone conversations with Malaysiakini that he had acted under orders and was being made a scapegoat.
He told Malaysiakini on Chinese New Year on Wednesday, 19th February – the day the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, blurted “utter rubbish”, “total rubbish” to Sirul’s claim of having acted “under orders”:

“There are no witnesses to the murder until today. All this is based on circumstantial evidence linking me (to the murder).

“I understand that circumstantial evidence is not strong as direct evidence.”

Sirul should come clean and admit to the heinous murder of Altantunya under orders.

Sirul cannot continue to equivocate about the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu but must show genuine remorse for the killing under orders if he wants Malaysians and the world to be equally outraged at his betrayal by the murder “mastermind” Read the rest of this entry »

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In the court of public opinion, is Putrajaya or Umno fighting Anwar?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
18 February 2015

There is a very fine line, between defending one’s party and excoriating political opponents in the battle for the hearts and minds of the electorate. And all the more so when it comes to a criminal case.

Sixteen years ago, the prosecution led by then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah and aided by Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, presented the state’s evidence against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and got him convicted and jailed for sodomy and abuse of power.

Umno and specifically then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was blamed for that episode. It cost the ruling Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) Terengganu in the 1999 general election.

But there was no roadshows to debunk political conspiracy theories by Anwar’s supporters. None. The prosecutors did their job and that was that, no matter the international outrage, public opprobrium and the weekend public protests.
Last week, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s verdict to convict and jail Anwar for five years in another sodomy case. Again, Anwar said it was a political ploy to keep him and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) from capturing Putrajaya.

Again, there was international outrage, public opprobrium but not much public protests as most vented their spleen online and got back to their ordinary lives.

But this time, it was Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who led the prosecution at both the Court of Appeal and Federal Court levels. And this time, Umno decided to take Shafee on a roadshow to explain the verdict. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should make a ministerial statement when Parliament reconvenes on March 10 on the actual status, job specification and remuneration paid to former APCO Malaysia boss Paul Stadlen to mastermind the Prime Minister’s communications

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should make a ministerial statement when Parliament reconvenes on March 10 on the actual status, job specification and remuneration paid to former APCO Malaysia boss Paul Stadlen to mastermind the Prime Minister’s communications operations.

I have also sent in a specific oral question to the Prime Minister asking him to confirm the veracity of a report in the Sarawak Report website that Paul Stadlen is being paid millions of ringgit to mastermind his communications policy, and whether the Paul Stadlen outfit was responsible of the infamous 109-word three-paragraph statement in the name of the Prime Minister’s Office that was issued of February 10 praising the Federal Court’s decision dismissing Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in Sodomy II, not only within minutes of the two-hour delivery of the judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria but before the sentence was passed!

Many questions cry out for answer.

Firstly, are there no local public relations and communications experts who could be entrusted with the responsibility of masterminding Najib’s communications policy, especially as it has been reported that Stadlen’s firm was retained by the PMO at a minimum of RM3 million a year and was also commissioned for a 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-related project worth another RM1.5 million? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s worst week ever for credibility and integrity of the administration of justice in the country

The past week starting with the Federal Court’s dismissal of Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeal on Tuesday 10th February is likely to be the country’s worst week ever for credibility and integrity of the administration of justice in Malaysia.

The Federal Court’s 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar’s appeal has come as a great surprise, even to those who had never entertained high hopes that Anwar could get off unscathed in his latest encounter with selective and even malicious prosecution.

But even the most pessimistic had expected either a 3-2 verdict or at worst a 4-1 decision, but everybody was floored by a unanimous 5-0 judgment.

What further stumped the legal and judicial fraternity, as well as the general public, was that there was only judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria, when the public expectation was more than one judgment, even five judgments! Read the rest of this entry »

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PMO has no business declaring judiciary as independent, say lawyers

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
12 February 2015

No amount of affirmation by Putrajaya will boost the judiciary’s image as an independent body, lawyers said, pointing out that such confidence in the institution of justice must come from the public and litigants.

The lawyers, who were commenting on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) swift statement in response to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s guilty verdict on Tuesday, said it was unusual and unnecessary.

More so when the statement tried to defend the judiciary by saying that it is independent and that the judges “had reached their verdict only after considering the evidence in a balanced and objective manner.”

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said there was no necessity for the PMO to do so although Anwar’s appeal is considered a high profile case that had attracted international attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thirteen Questions for Najib to answer to salvage the credibility, independence and professionalism of Malaysian judiciary

The credibility, independence and professionalism of the Malaysian judiciary was gravely sullied by the extraordinary Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement on Feb. 10 defending the Federal Court decision on the Anwar Ibrahim case even before the completion of the Federal Court judicial process.

Yesterday, the government came out in defence of the PMO’s lightning quick response to the Anwar Ibrahim judgment by the Federal Court, saying it is normal procedure to prepare statements in advance.

A government spokesperson, in an email communique, to Malaysiakini said:

“It’s clear that the politicians, lawyers, communications teams and journalists involved with this case prepared text for guilty and not guilty verdicts.

“Similarly, the government prepared a statement in advance for either outcome. This is entirely standard professional practice, especially in a case that involves public interest.

“To suggest otherwise is intentionally misleading.”

Who is the Najib government bluffing?

Here are 13 Questions for Najib to answer to salvage the credibility, independence and professionalism of Malaysian judiciary which had been gravely sullied by the extraordinary PMO statement on Feb 10 defending the Federal Court decision on Anwar case even before the completion of the judicial process. Read the rest of this entry »

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QC’s verdict: Apex court erred in jailing Anwar

By Hafiz Yatim
Malaysiakini
Feb 11, 2015

With controversy still simmering over yesterday’s Federal Court verdict throwing Anwar Ibrahim into jail, an independent observer has described the judgement as ‘superficial, failing to adequately deal with key issues brought up by the defence team’.

Inter-Parliamentary Union observer and Queen’s Counsel Mark Trowell pointed out that Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria’s findings on the DNA material effectively ignored the testimony of Professor Dr David Wells and Dr Brian McDonald both who raised serious doubts as to the integrity of victim Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s DNA samples.

“It was not sufficient to brush their opinions aside by saying neither (Wells or McDonald) had recently carried out DNA extraction. That is a job to be performed by a laboratory technician. They are both senior scientists sufficiently skilled and experienced in giving an opinion about the DNA extraction process performed by the government chemists and the adequacy of their testing.

“They weren’t disadvantaged by not actually performing the extraction themselves (which is a criticism made by the CJ) because they heard the testimony of the government chemists and were able to give their free expert opinion on it. That is what experts do,” he said.

Trowell – who is also an observer for Lawasia and the Australian Law Council – said federal court’s finding that the chain of custody for the samples was not broken by the conduct of the investigation officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira was inconsistent with the facts and the law. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia again in the international doghouse over the rule of law, democracy and human rights – no more terrible start for Malaysia this year as member of UNSC and Chairman of ASEAN

The 5-0 unanimous decision of the Federal Court yesterday rejecting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal was not only a dishonour to Anwar’s 47-year patriotic service in furtherance of justice, freedom, human dignity and Malaysian nation-building, it was also a disservice to Malaysia’s international reputation as well as Vision 2020 for Malaysia to join the ranks of developed nations in five years’ time.

Thanks to the Federal Court on Anwar’s appeal yesterday, Malaysia is again in the international doghouse over the rule of law, democracy and human rights –no more terrible start this year for Malaysia with the double responsibility as member of the United Nations Security Council and Chairman of ASEAN.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canadian and Australian governments, the European Union (EU) as well as international press and human right bodies have all raised the red flag about Malaysia’s descent to a “rogue” state.

The White House national security council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said the United States was “deeply concerned” with Anwar’s conviction and is concerned about the rule of law in Malaysia.

The United Kingdom’s foreign and commonwealth office said that apart from the integrity of the rule of law, Malaysia must embrace moderation and tolerance to succeed.

The High Commission of Canada in Kuala Lumpur notes that Anwar’s conviction has come at a time when “Canada and other countries have conveyed concerns regarding selective prosecutions, including the Sedition Act 1948”.

Even the Singapore Business Times editorialised that “public confidence in the judiciary has slipped to the point that few were shocked with yesterday’s outcome”. Read the rest of this entry »

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After Anwar convicted, Bar Council chief says Malaysians live in ‘strange world’

The Malay Mail Online
February 11, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — “Glaring anomalies” in the conviction of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy is feeding suspicions that his case was one of political persecution rather than criminal prosecution, Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong said today.

Although acknowledging it was too early to comment on the Federal Court’s decision to jail Anwar for five years on a charge of sodomy yesterday, Leong pointed out that Anwar’s accuser, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, was not prosecuted despite the decision to prosecute the opposition leader for consensual anal sex.

“It is notable that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not charged under Section 377C of the Penal Code for forced sodomy or sodomy rape, although there may appear to have been some allegation of coercion made in the proceedings.

“This has also given rise to questions or concerns as to why the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who was alleged to have been a participant in the act of sodomy, was not charged for abetment under Sections 377A and 377B, read together with Section 109, of the Penal Code,” Leong said in a statement today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Something? No, some things are rotten in Malaysia

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
11 February 2015

The inimitable Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad didn’t quite hit the nail on the head when he paraphrased Shakespeare to say something is rotten in Malaysia.

One, it is not about people not being paid for so-called work done. Or their permits pulled. Or their proposals copied. Or local white knights having their bids to take over companies rejected without even a look.

Two. It isn’t something. It is a lot of things.

here do we begin? Read the rest of this entry »

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LIVE: Anwar’s 5-year jail sentence upheld

BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
10 February 2015

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sentence of five years’ jail was upheld by the Federal Court today, ending his public office as oppositon leader and Permatang Pauh MP.

The Federal Court dismissed applications by the defence to lessen the five-year jail sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal and also rejected prosecution’s appeal to enhance the prison term.

Earlier, before sentence was passed, Anwar attacked the five-man bench which convicted him today accusing them of “bowing to their political masters and becoming partners in crime in the murder of the judiciary”.

Anwar told the bench led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria that a full statement was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office barely minutes after the judgment was delivered.

“In bowing to political masters they have disgraced themselves and have become partners in crime in the murder of the judiciary,” Anwar said, before Arifin asked lead defence counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to tell Anwar to stop.

But Sri Ram told Arifin that his client had the right to address the court, to which Arifin retorted, “yes, on the appeal but not to condemn the court”.

But the opposition leader continued attacking the judiciary, adding “you had the opportunity to right the wrong but you chose to remain on the dark side”.

At this juncture, Arifin and the rest of the bench walked out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Mariam Mokhtar| January 9, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

The greatest threat to the Malays comes from bigots like Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Umno Baru and extremist Muslim NGOs.

COMMENT

Former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad has dishonoured his profession. He is a disappointing role model to Malaysians and a disgrace to his Muslim brethren. Whilst many Malaysians are trying to rebuild their lives after the devastating floods, it appears that Hamid is keen to sow seeds of hatred and create racial disharmony. There must be a reason for Hamid’s racial attack. His reappearance comes just as the nation is questioning the lack of preparedness of the government and the attitude of the ministers in dealing with the flood crisis in Kelantan.

It is perplexing that Hamid’s inflammatory remarks on race and religion continue to escape censure by the authorities. His comments have come at a time when the rakyat is demanding answers to many problems besetting the government.

Is Abdul Hamid colluding with the government to distract the Malaysian public from issues like 1MDB, the Kassim Ahmad trial and the appeal against the acquittal of the two men implicated in Altantuya’s murder? Or is he acting to divert attention away from the negative publicity generated by the flooding?

According to news reports on January 3, Hamid wrote a letter to Utusan Malaysia to voice his support for a PAS-Umno unity government. The greater strength would enable Malays to stem the rise of Chinese political power, he reportedly said. He said Malay loyalties were divided between PAS and Umno Baru, thus giving the Chinese ample opportunity to exploit the political situation.

He said that after the tsunami in Aceh, the provincial government worked together with the central government in Jakarta to rebuild the county. He strongly hinted that Kelantan should emulate Aceh to form the unity government of PAS and Umno-Baru. He said, “Isn’t there a lesson to be learnt from Aceh? Hasn’t the disaster taught them to repent and start prioritising something bigger like religion and race instead of party interests?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Church fails to get 9-man bench to hear ‘Allah’ review

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
11 January 2015

The chief justice of Malaysia has turned down a request by the Catholic Church to convene a minimum nine-man panel to deliberate its review application against the ban on the word Allah when the case comes up on January 21.

The church was instead informed that only a five-man bench would be constituted to hear the matter.

The decision by Tun Arifin Zakaria was conveyed to the Catholic Church by the special officer to the chief justice, Dr Alwi Abdul Wahab, in a letter dated December 31.

The letter which was sighted by The Malaysian Insider, said that the request for a full bench could not be entertained. There were no reasons given on why the request was dismissed.

On December 23, a lawyer for the church had sent a letter to Arifin, urging for at least nine Muslim and non-Muslim judges to hear its arguments on fundamental constitutional provisions relating to religion.

The letter, which was also sighted by The Malaysian Insider, had said the church wanted a quorum that reflected the multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity of Malaysian society, given the nature of the issues raised. Read the rest of this entry »

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A wretched, horrendous year, with little cheer

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
31 December 2014

2014 has been a wretched and horrendous year for Malaysia, with very little spots of sunny cheer for Malaysians. All 52 weeks have seen us angry and sad – not quite the happy Malaysia Truly Asia that we portray in tourism advertisements.

Grief has been Malaysia’s main point of unity – from the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8 to flight MH17 that was shot out of the sky on July 17 to the tragic crash of AirAsia Bhd Indonesian affiliate’s flight QZ8501 on December 28, in the last days of the year.

Three commercial plane crashes linked to Malaysia in just a year – what are the chances of that?

And while that dominated the headlines, there has been other events that added to Malaysia’s grief. Statistics showed that 189 people died of dengue so far this year, up from 95 in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Epitomising Dr M’s criticisms of the gov’t

By Ganeshwaran Kana
Malaysiakini
6:43PM Dec 29, 2014

COMMENT Dear Dr Mahathir Mohamad. I would consider “vociferous” as the best and most suitable word to epitomise your criticisms against Malaysia’s government of the day in recent times. As a citizen of Malaysia, one has the right to speak of and criticise his or her government.

Although some of your arguments have gained public support, the current generation of Malaysia has all the rights to question policies and actions of your governance in the past.

To set the record straight right at the start, I am neither a supporter of Umno nor of “the other side”.

Nevertheless, being a civic-minded citizen of Malaysia, I would like to request your explanations pertaining to various issues spanning throughout your 22 years in your journey as the prime minister of Malaysia.

Although I duly recognise your contributions to Malaysia, any flaw and mistakes that took place under your long premiership should be taken as your mishandling. This is what real leaders do.

And, hopefully, this commentary of mine is not to be seen as seditious. Read the rest of this entry »

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