Archive for category Mahathir

Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Malaysian Leader’s Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe

By Tom Wright And Simon Clark
Wall Street Journal
July 2, 2015

Prime Minister Najib’s bank accounts are scrutinized in probe of investment fund 1MDB

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysian investigators scrutinizing a controversial government investment fund have traced nearly $700 million of deposits into what investigators believe are the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, according to documents from a government probe.

The investigation documents mark the first time Mr. Najib has been directly connected to the probes into state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB.

Mr. Najib, who founded 1MDB and heads its board of advisors, has been under growing political pressure over the fund, which amassed $11 billion in debt it is struggling to repay.

The government probe documents what investigators believe to be the movement of cash among government agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB before it ended up in Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal include bank transfer forms and flow charts put together by government investigators that reflect their understanding of the path of the cash.

The original source of the money is unclear and the government investigation doesn’t detail what happened to the money that went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Could this be the Smoking Gun for Malaysia’s PM?

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
July 3, 2015

Najib said by Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report to divert US$700 million in 1MDB funds into his own accounts

The publication today, Friday July 3, of devastating articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report tying Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the diversion of nearly US$700 million from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd into his own accounts could be the final blow to bring down a leader who has been bullet proof from years of charges against his integrity.

The danger is that there have been so many smoking guns in the past, including detailed evidence by French investigators of bribes to buy French submarines when Najib was defense minister, that yet another won’t matter. Nonetheless, according to the two publications, government investigators in Malaysia have traced the money in deposits from 1MDB into Najib’s personal bank accounts. The investigators’ findings apparently were leaked, possibly through former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been on a two-year crusade to drive Najib from office and put him in jail.

Given the considerable details of the information now in print, he may well succeed. Indeed sources in Kuala Lumpur have told Asia Sentinel that Mahathir has considerably more information. Attempts to reach the former premier in the past have been uniformly unsuccessful.

“If this is true, it’s a TKO for Najib,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer. “Go to jail, do not pass go. It looks like the Tun [Mahathir] has dropped the nuke.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib: Dr M behind WSJ report

The Malay Mail Online
Friday July 3, 2015 11:49 PM GMT+8

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak accused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of working with foreigners to produce the Wall Street Journal report accusing the former of receiving funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

In arguably the most direct attack against his most vocal critic, Najib said the latest allegation against him was just another in the series of claims made by Dr Mahathir in his campaign to oust the prime minister.

“The latest allegation is that I have taken state-linked funds for personal gain. I believe Tun, working hand in glove with foreign nationals, including the now discredited political attack blog Sarawak Report, is behind this latest lie,” Najib wrote on Facebook today.

“These attacks began when I refused to implement Tun Mahathir’s personal demands. I refused, because I do not believe it is right for Malaysia to be ruled by proxy.”

Pointing out that all the attacks against him and 1MDB were not been backed by evidence, Najib said it was clear that they were part of a concerted campaign to sabotage and remove him as the democratically-elected prime minister of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB Scandal – The Empire Strikes Back after four months

Since the arrest of the former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive in Koh Samui, Thailand at around 3 pm on Monday (June 22) for attempting to blackmail his former employer on leaked information, we have seen “The Empire Strikes Back” on the six-year 1MDB scandal in Malaysia.

Suddenly, some Ministers have becoming quite articulate on the 1MDB scandal, with the Home Minister Datuk Zahid Hamidi claiming ominously that the former PSI executive Xavier Andre Justo in his interrogation by Thai police had implicated several Malaysians who had asked him to manipulate the leaked information which was passed to whistleblower site Sarawak Report.

He even said Putrajaya was prepared to extradite these individuals if there is request from Bangkok.

Zahid also threatened to act against local media that used the leaked information which had been the source of unremitting embarrassment to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak since the end of February when the Sarawak Report website and London’s Sunday Times newspaper reported in-depth investigations into the trail of the missing 1MDB missing billions after gaining access to thousands of documents and emails relating to transactions by 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

PSI’s leaked information included communications with 1MDB that had embroiled the latter in controversy as it highlighted questionable transfer of funds to a company controlled by Malaysian billionaire Jho Low, who is close to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s family.

PSI and 1MDB have yet to deny these allegations but both insisted that it is based on “tampered” evidence.

Zahid appears to be unfazed when a police source from Thailand’s crime suppression division, which arrested Justo, told Malaysiakini that Interpol and the Malaysian authorities were not involved in the investigation. Read the rest of this entry »

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The untouchable Dr M

Kapil Sethi
The Malay Mail Online
June 22, 2015

JUNE 22 ― On the surface, it seems even more lopsided than a David and Goliath battle. On one side is a frail, almost 90, long gone from the corridors of power old man whose bark is practically all that is left of what was 22 years of autocratic but arguably economically robust rule. On the other is a man decades younger and a second term prime minister controlling all the levers of power who is increasingly comfortable in deploying them to crush all dissent, whether through legislation, 3am wake-up calls by the police or even by suing through the judiciary.

The PM also has publicly-funded government largesse to dole out as and when the situation requires. He has a plethora of government and party posts and contracts to hand out to keep his party cadres in line. He controls all the mainstream media and has a large, ever-expanding public relations machine at his disposal to run down all enemies, real or imagined.

So it would seem bizarre that things have reached such a head that the battle is not only not over, but has spilled out on the international stage courtesy of the New York Times. In a sign of exactly how difficult the situation is for the incumbent PM, his foreign minister is reduced to replying to the article by criticising Dr Mahathir for internationalising the issue rather than rebutting the issues themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Gets a Dose of Real Talk

By William Pesek
Jun 18, 2015

Asia-based journalists have missed Mahathir Mohamad since he left office in 2003. The former Malaysian prime minister’s mercurial governing style and fiery rhetoric made for great copy. I was in a Hong Kong ballroom in 1997 when Mahathir — the man credited with turning the agricultural backwater Kuala Lumpur, which literally means “muddy river,” into one of Asia’s most impressive skylines — responded to his country’s crashing economy by castigating hedge fund managers. He singled out George Soros as a “moron.”

Mahathir now has a new target — Najib Razak, Malaysia’s current prime minister. The daily squabbling between Najib and his predecessor has unsettled Malaysian markets, with the ringgit falling to its lowest value in a decade. But Najib has nobody to blame but himself for the attacks, given the country’s underlying economic distress. Malaysia’s prolonged slow growth, which has Fitch now threatening a downgrade of the country’s credit ratings, traces back to Najib’s refusal, or inability, to make good on his pledges to dismantle race-based policies that strangle innovation, feed cronyism and repel multinational companies.

You don’t have to take Mahathir’s word for it — Malaysia’s most successful entrepreneurs say the same thing. Just ask Tony Fernandes of AirAsia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s national per capita income increased 25-fold from 1970 to 2014 but Malaysia’s financial scandal increased by more than 63,000-fold from RM66 million in 1975 to RM42 billion today

When introducing the Eleven Malaysia Plan in Parliament last month, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak boasted that Malaysia’s national per capita income increased 25-fold from 1970 to 2014, rising from the ranks of a low-income economy in the 1970s to a high middle-income economy today.

What Najib did not tell Malaysians is that Malaysia’s financial scandal had increased by more than 63,0000-fold from the RM66 million Bank Rakyat scandal in 1975 to the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal of today!

No wonder that even the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, who during his 22-year administration from 1981 to 2003, had chalked up a long series of financial scandals probably costing the country some RM100 billion, has come to forefront to demand accountability, transparency and good governance from the Najib premiership in utter disgust at the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

In the escalating Najib-Mahathir tussle for accountability, transparency and good governance over the 1MDB scandal, DAP leaders have been proven right that allegations of malpractices, abuses of power and even corruption in the 1MDB scandal in the past few years with DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua and the PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli spearheading the 1MDB exposes in the last four years had hit the nail on the head about the enormity and iniquity of the 1MDB scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should live up to his “Nothing2Hide” claim by accepting Mahathir’s challenge to a live-telecast “Ask and Answer All” public duel

It has really come full circle – the longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia who in his 22-year premiership had repeatedly denounced Opposition leaders, even former leaders of the Umno/BN coalition government, most notably his one-time Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister-designate, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, of disloyalty in using international forums to undermine their own country, being now the target of the very same accusation by the present administration!

In an open letter to the New York Times, the Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman made these same accusations against the “super patriot” Tun Mahathir for attacking the country’s administration and political party, expressing regret at Mahathir’s action “to undermine his own country through the international media as part of a personal political vendetta”.

Anifah wrote: “It is irresponsible of any citizen, let alone a former prime minister, to spread lies and distort facts about state owned companies.”

Anifah criticised Dr Mahathir’s attack over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Umno and accusations against current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Ex-Prime Minister Unleashes Criticism

Interview by THOMAS FULLER
New York Times
JUNE 17, 2015

Mahathir Mohamad, who served as prime minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, turns 90 next month. He is forcing his way back into the center of Malaysian politics with a fire hose of criticism for the man he helped install in office, Najib Razak, the current prime minister.

In an interview, Mr. Mahathir lashed out at Mr. Najib for what he described as wastefulness and lavish spending. But he also broached a host of other topics, questioning the tenets of modern democracy and calling for a boycott of Myanmar over its persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority there.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

On the splintering of Malaysian politics:

The reason why Malaysia has managed to remain stable and to grow economically was because there was one big coalition of parties. But now you can see there’s a breakup. What will happen in the next election is that no one will be able to gain a majority. This, of course, leads to instability.

On the current prime minister:

I had always supported Najib. I was in a way instrumental in his becoming prime minister. [But] the apparent disappearance of huge sums of money. This is not good. He has never been able to explain how the money was spent. He wants to leave his own legacy. But what he does is verging on criminal. He’s going to lose in the next election. Read the rest of this entry »

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Power Struggle in Malaysia Pits Former Premier Against a Protégé

New York Times
JUNE 17, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia’s governing party is at war with itself, embroiled in a power struggle that is destabilizing the country and threatening the party’s nearly six-decade stretch of uninterrupted governance.

The battle has revealed itself publicly in a nasty spat between two political titans. Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister who turns 90 next month, is the chief architect of a political insurgency aiming to oust the man he helped put into office six years ago, Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Having lost none of the combativeness honed during more than two decades in power, Mr. Mahathir is pressing allegations of malfeasance in a sovereign wealth fund, criticizing the “lavish” lifestyle of the prime minister’s wife, and has resurrected troubling questions about the murder of a Mongolian woman, the mistress of a former top aide to Mr. Najib.

“I’ve had quite a long time in government, and I’ve learned a few things,” Mr. Mahathir said in an interview at his office on Wednesday in Putrajaya, the administrative capital he built from scratch when he was prime minister.

Mr. Najib “wants to leave his own legacy,” he said. “But what he does is verging on criminal.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Nothing to hide — Dr M is now the actual PM of Malaysia!

By Martin Jalleh

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Why things like 1MDB happen

By P Gunasegaram
May 28, 2015

QUESTION TIME Malaysia had no major financial scandals – as in billion-ringgit ones – until the infamous case of Bumiputra Malaysia Finance or BMF emerged in the early eighties and captured the imagination of the press and the public.

Before we are a bit quick to point the finger at former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for that, let’s point out that Mahathir became prime minister only in 1981, after BMF, Bank Bumiputra’s wholly-owned Hong Kong subsidiary, started loaning money to George Tan’s Carrian group, eventually amounting to RM2.5 billion in all.

The loans were made between 1979 and 1983, which means that loans continued to be made to Carrian even after Mahathir became PM, implying that Mahathir cannot be totally absolved.

Carrian was a rising star in the Hong Kong property market then but subsequently went bust, making it the biggest bankruptcy in Hong Kong at the time. The scale of the scandal was simply enormous and record-breaking, putting Malaysia on the top of the list in terms of banking failure at that time.

The question is what was a unit of Bank Bumiputra, a bank set up to provide bumiputeras access to funding as part of the effort to increase their participation in business, doing lending money to a Hong Kong property group?

This was at that time, the largest banking scandal in the world and the interest in it spiked further when a Bank Bumiputra senior officer sent to Hong Kong to investigate was murdered and his body dumped in a banana plantation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Mahathir knuckle under the threat of RM1 million reward for information about his wrongdoings as Prime Minister for 22 years causing RM100 billion losses to Malaysia from his various financial scandals and fade from the political scene?

I read today of a new NGO which has offered a reward of up to RM1 million for information about the wrongdoings of Tun Dr. Mahathir during his 22 years as Prime Minister causing RM100 billion losses to the country from his various financial scandals.

As one of the few who had stood up in and out of Parliament to consistently and persistently criticise and oppose the series of financial scandals and abuses of power during Mahathir’s premiership from 1981 – 2013 – and paying a heavy price of being detained for a second time for 18 months under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang where Guan Eng and I were the first to be detained but the last to be released – I find the report of a RM1 million bounty for information about Mahathir’s wrongdoings both amusing and interesting.

Why wasn’t such a RM1 million bounty offered during Mahathir’s 22-year tenure as Prime Minister from 1981-2003? Was it because such an offeror would find himself in incarceration even before the ink of such an offer could dry?

Why was such a RM1 million bounty offered only 12 years after Mahathir had stepped down as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia? Were they sleeping for the past 12 years and could not pluck up the courage for such a public-spirited offer?

Has the RM1 million bounty any connection with Mahathir’s stepping up of his attacks on Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister of Malaysia, whether on the RM42 billion 1MDF financial scandal or the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, which will bring it within the zone of a proxy war in the escalation of the Najib-Mahathir titanic battle? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s choice is clear when he had to choose between holding support of BN’s 48 MPs in Sarawak and Sabah or wooing PAS’ 21 MPs

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is fighting for his political life, with the former longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir leading the charge in the campaign for Najib to step down as Prime Minister to save UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) from defeat in the next general elections.

Lines are being drawn in Najib’s titanic life-and-death battle as the sixth Prime Minister and UMNO President, but there is no reason for Pakatan Rakyat to take sides whether to throw Najib a life-line or to support Mahathir’s campaign to save UMNO/BN as Pakatan Rakyat’s objective must surely, firmly and unswervingly remain on the larger objective to save Malaysia and Malaysians and not to save any one political party or even one person!

This is UMNO/BN’s weakest moment in the federal government coalition’s history. In fact, the UMNO/BN had already lost majority support of the Malaysian voters in the recent 13th general elections as it is Pakatan Rakyat and not Barisan Nasional which had secured the majority support of the electorate in the national polls two years ago and the Malaysian Prime Minister of the day should have been Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and not Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Unfortunately, Pakatan Rakyat is itself at its weakest in its 7-year history, and it is unable to take advantage, let alone full advantage, of the turmoils in UMNO/BN. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Umno-BN battle royal

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
12 May 2015

A titanic power struggle is currently taking place in the country. In one corner of the ring is former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his mainly Umno supporters who have decided to kick the Prime Minister out of power for a variety of reasons, including the 1MDB fiasco and for personal wrong doings and unresolved scandals of which the Altantuya one tops the list.

In the other corner stands Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the Umno and Barisan Nasional establishment behind him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Government is even more shambolic than the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing

The Najib Government is even more shambolic than its predecessor, the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and the DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing.

It has resulted in the Sabah Speaker and Sabah UMNO Deputy Liaison Chief , Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak virtually demanding for the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and three Cabinet Ministers, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Khairy Jamaluddin for “trying to save their own necks” on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the latest 1MDB-LTH bailout fiasco by breaching the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility, “making statements as if they are outsiders and not part of the Cabinet”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Najib untangle the 1MDB-Tabung Haji bailout in the next 48 hours or will there be a political explosion when Najib meets the UMNO division leaders on Monday

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s position as Prime Minister and UMNO President has never been so fragile and precarious as now, and the question uppermost in many minds is whether Najib can untangle the 1MDB-Tabung Haji bailout in the next 48 hours or whether there will be a political explosion when Najib meets the UMNO division leaders on Monday.

Najib’s desperation over the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal as to approve a raid of Tabung Haji funds has created an unprecedented political spectacle of the current Prime Minister being sandwiched under attack by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir and the current Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Mahathir is demanding that the bailout in the land deal between Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) and 1MDB be called off immediately while Muhyiddin warned from Milan that the 1MDB scandal may explode on UMNO.

Muhyiddin admitted that the debt-ridden 1MDB was the biggest factor that led to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) loss in the Permatang Pauh by-election as he was not even able to explain the scandal when campaigning because, “I don’t even know what to say”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should come to Permatang Pauh before polling day for a “1MDB scandal – Answer All Questions” Dialogue or he should seek a motion of confidence when Parliament re-convenes on May 18 to demonstrate he still commands support of the majority of MPs

One of the mysteries of Permatang Pauh by-election is not only the disappearance of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but also his posters, which like his two Prime Minister predecessors, had always pride of place in all previous Barisan Nasional by-election campaigns – and invariably given greater prominence than the contesting Barisan Nasional by-election candidate.

But this is not the case in Permatang Pauh. Has the Barisan Nasional leaders come to a stage where they are embarrassed about the presence of the Prime Minister, even his posters?

Is the disappearance of the Prime Minister and his posters in the Permatang Pauh by-election an eloquent testimony that Najib had got very serious things to hide from the voters of Permatang Pauh?

The voters of Permatang Pauh have a right to chant: Where is the Prime Minister? In particular with regard to his accountability and answers to the endless questions which are being asked by Pakatan Rakyat leaders and recently, former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir about the “mother of mother” of all financial scandals in Malaysia – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal? Read the rest of this entry »

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Was Mahathir a leader or a boss?

By Tajuddin Rosli
30th April 2015

I am sure most people who decide to read this article are doing so because the title of my article questions the popular belief. Some may already begin deploying their cavalry and loading their artillery even before reading past the first paragraph. I look back at Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s 22 years at the helm and wonder if he was a leader or a boss.

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. – Stephen Covey

Dr Mahathir brought enormous success to the development of the nation. It is because of him we now have the Petronas Twin Towers. It is because of him Malaysia is on the Formula 1 circuit map. It is because of him Malaysia experienced economic growth. He definitely broadcasted Malaysia globally in many aspects of science and technology.

Unfortunately, it is also because of him corruption has seeped deep into the genes of the nation. It is because of him cronyism has become a well-known word in Malaysian politics. It is because of him racism went on a malignant spurt. He was for sure a success but the success he brought jeopardised the nation such that its effect is still being felt today. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is Dr M really fighting for?

By Dennis Ignatius
Apr 30, 2015

COMMENT The redoubtable Dr Mahathir Mohamad is once again on the warpath.

In recent months, he has fired salvo after salvo of withering criticism against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak accusing Najib of a whole array of sins – mismanaging the economy, squandering billions, living lavishly, mishandling the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder investigation, not being a strong leader, burdening the people with Goods and Services Tax, kowtowing to the United States on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement etc.

He has even levelled against Najib what is perhaps the ultimate insult in his lexicon – being worse than former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi!

His attacks on Najib have, of course, thrilled the hearts of the legions of Malaysians who are fed up with Najib’s leadership.

Indeed, many now look to Dr Mahathir as the would-be saviour of the nation. Even the equally redoubtable Lim Kit Siang has offered to work with him to save the nation.

If anybody can succeed against Najib, it is, of course, Dr Mahathir. He alone has the stature, the authority, the political smarts and, of course, the impunity, to go head to head with the PM.

There is none more implacable, more skilful, more determined than he. He also has the experience, having brought down a sitting PM before. When the doctor gets his political scalpel out, somebody is most likely to get scalped. Read the rest of this entry »

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