Archive for category Mahathir
JUL 28, 2015
These days, feeling that the press is no longer marching to his tune, Mahathir communicates to the world through a blog, Chedet.com – a name taken, he tells me, from a childhood nickname conferred upon him by his sisters.
It is a consistently strident piece of work, as one would expect, with a tag-line: “Blogging to unblock”. In it, until recently beneath the incongruous herald of a pizza delivery ad, he rails against the issues of the day, from Kuala Lumpur traffic to intervention in Syria, from the nature of modern Islam to racial polarization and the endless question of the Malaysian national car. The English language entries alone in the second half of 2014 have taken on deforestation and the logging trade, the nature of state education, monetary handouts and national economics, ISIS, American foreign policy, British jihadists, the bombing of Gaza, Malaysian tourism, Formula One, the privatization of Malaysian Airlines, censorship of the internet, the Jews and the history of Israel, the oil price, the nature of an Islamic state, and Joe Biden (a piece that concludes: “America is a land stolen from the Red Indians through genocide. Americans should really bow their heads down in shame forever”).
They take an ordered, numbered form, not always reaching an obvious conclusion but never short of a boisterous opinion. Thus does Mahathir put his country and faith to rights, shouting not from a rooftop but from a desktop, to the masses of the net. The top-flight Malay establishment tolerates him politely, accepting the voice of a man who is part of much of their history even if no longer directly relevant to its present. Read the rest of this entry »
– Greg Lopez
The Malaysian Insider
30 July 2015
The president of Umno is always the prime minister of Malaysia. It is Umno who decides who becomes the prime minister. Leadership crisis in Umno always has serious implications to national leadership and Malaysia.
The leadership crisis within Umno occurs almost every decade. The outcomes of these leadership crises are balanced as the context is important in determining the survival of the incumbent.
The first leadership crisis happened almost as soon as Umno was established.
Leaders from Umno’s Islamic Department left in 1951 to form the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party of Tanah Melayu, now known as the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party or PAS. Read the rest of this entry »
East Asia Forum
29 July 2015
At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003. What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Mahathir may believe that he can end the crisis by bringing Najib down. But history should judge Mahathir himself as the author of a long national decline that has culminated in this latest crisis.
To be sure, Najib’s fingerprints are all over the current mess. The proximate source of the crisis has been the collapse of Najib’s pet sovereign-investment company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). This has caused Malaysia’s stock market and currency, the ringgit, to plummet in turn. All this has transpired amid credible allegations that the prime minister siphoned an eye-popping US$700 million into his personal bank account.
But this road toward ruin commenced with Mahathir, not Najib. Read the rest of this entry »
– Shahrul Yusof
The Malaysian Insider
28 July 2015
I remember it was in early September 1998, when TV3 broke the news about then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sacking his deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
It was during my summer holiday and I was back home with my family. Immediately after that I rang my friend Yazid in the UK and told him about the news.
Surprised he certainly was, and immediately conveyed the message to my other friends who were in England, and within a few days news reached everyone in the mosque there.
Six hours ago, I woke up at 6am in Manchester and grabbed my phone and to my surprise, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was out.
My Facebook timeline flashing with news after news about the sacking. Here in the UK, at the same time, Malaysian’s were already in chapter 4 of the chronological discussions, and it was less than an hour after Najib’s press statement. Read the rest of this entry »
1MDB has become 1Malaysia Disaster Bhd, consuming UMNO/Barisan Nasional Federal Government but it must not be allowed to destroy Malaysia!
When the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi issued a statement on Saturday night that he was mulling action against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, including calling for her extradition from United Kingdom for the “crime” of foreign interference in the internal affairs of Malaysia, he was rightly mocked for his presumption in expecting the British government to “play ball” with such a silly notion merely because Claire had exposed a multi-billion dollar financial scandal in Malaysia.
As DAP MP for Segambut Lim Li Eng has pointed out, this is a “big bluff” when those involved in least four high profile cases were now abroad – sex blogger Alvin Tan, Facebook activist Ali Abdul Jalil, Malaysia Today operator Raja Petra Kamaruddin and former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted for murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
But apart from the ludicrousness of Zahid’s extradition suggestion, I see a more sinister aspect – the thoughts behind such a ridiculous idea, as the Home Minister cannot be so dumb as to believe that his extradition proposal would have any traction with the UK Government.
The question all discerning Malaysian should be asking is whether a plot is being hatched to launch as wide a dragnet as possible to implicate the maximum number of critics of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, to rope them in and even charge them for participating in an international plot to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia?
Talk of seeking extradition of Clare is just an icing for the cake of the allegation of an international conspiracy to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia, as for advocates of this extreme option, it is not important whether the extradition request succeeds or not, but suffice for it to provide the “international character” to justify the wild allegation of an international plot to criminalise Najib Razak and topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia.
And into such a “plot on a plot”, all the critics of the Prime Minister and 1MDB scandal could be lumped together for allegedly committing “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, sabotage or treason for consorting with foreign elements in criminalising Najib and seeking to topple the elected Prime Minister – such as the Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong, Edge publisher and Group CEO, Ho Kay Tat, MPs Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, even the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, the Opposition leader in Sungai Buloh prison Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Najib’s brother Nazir Razak?
Far-fetched? We are living in dangerous times. Read the rest of this entry »
With three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, Malaysia in free fall to become a failed state
Three days ago, I warned: “A darkness is descending on Malaysia.”
Two days ago, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua was barred from leaving the country to fly to Yogyakarta, Indonesia and may be investigated under the new-fangled offence of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which could send him to jail up to 20 years.
Today, the Home Ministry suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27, for reporting on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which were regarded by the Najib premiership as “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest”.
Darkness is swiftly descending in Malaysia.
Malaysia has become a topsy-turvy world. Read the rest of this entry »
For his best self-interest, Najib should immediately direct MCMC to stop blocking access to Sarawak Report or he is transforming 1MDB scandal from a local into an international scandal of first magnitude
What a Hari Raya “gift” from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – blocking access to the Sarawak Report website and overnight undergoing three transformations for Malaysia’s “Father of Transformation”, viz:
• Transforming the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the posts on the Sarawak Report website from a local scandal into an international scandal of the first magnitude;
• Transforming Najib from a Nothing2Hide to Everything2Hide Prime Minister, all in a matter of 45 days from June 5, 2015 – the date of Najib‘s ill-fated and aborted 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
• Transforming Najib from the most Internet-savvy Prime Minister of Malaysia into Malaysia’s most frightened-of-Internet Prime Minister, even violating Tun Mahathir and the Malaysian Government’s 17-year-old Bill of Guarantee of “No Censorship of Internet”.to the world.
Asia Pacific Editor
July 18, 2015
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been under political siege for the two years since support for his UMNO-led coalition, which has ruled since independence in 1957, slid to less than 50 per cent at the last election.
The attacks — from outside and from within his own political camp — have intensified in recent months, becoming increasingly more personal, with a series of claims of corruption.
He has now begun to fight back, launching — and threatening to launch — defamation cases within Malaysia and overseas, including against Fairfax newspapers in Australia and The Wall Street Journal.
The opposition grouping led by Anwar Ibrahim attracted more voters at the 2013 general election, but failed to win power due to the gerrymander that gives rural ethnic Malay voters an overwhelming advantage. Read the rest of this entry »
July 17, 2015
The ageing dictator thinks the decay in Malaysian politics is all about personal failings.
On Eid al-Fitr, the most festive day of the Islamic calendar in South-east Asia, Nurul Izzah Anwar should be celebrating with her family and visiting her famous father in jail. But Malaysia’s politics are now so combustible, and the name of Anwar Ibrahim so potent, that the family has been barred from resuming its conversation about the future of Malaysia until the fifth day after the breaking of the fast.
But Nurul Izzah, like the rest of middle-class Malaysia, already knows exactly what her father thinks.
“For the first time in our history, a sitting prime minister is under investigation for the misappropriation of funds,” said her father in a statement released by his lawyers this week, referring to a report that showed how $920 million was siphoned from a sovereign wealth fund into a bank account in the name of Prime Minister Najib Razak. “From behind these prison walls, I feel a great concern and worry for my country,” said Anwar Ibrahim. “Corruption, abuse of power, arrogance and appallingly poor governance has brought Malaysia to this state. The utter collapse of the Greece economy is a warning of what can yet happen.” Read the rest of this entry »
The special task force into allegations of PM misconduct by Najib has zero credibility and legitimacy when DPM and Cabinet Ministers completely in the dark about its establishment, composition, terms of reference and latest change of Chairmanship
The special task force investigating into allegations of Prime Ministerial misconduct by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in particular into Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report and allegation on July 3 that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) were deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013, shortly before the dissolution of Parliament on April 3, 2013 and the holding of 13th general elections has zero credibility and legitimacy.
How can the “special task force” have credibility and legitimacy when Cabinet Ministers, and even the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, do not know about its establishment, composition, terms of reference and the latest change of Chairmanship of the special task force?
Yesterday, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib urged the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to disassociate himself from the special task force, saying this would help enhance public perception and integrity into the probe.
Abu Talib’s views were also shared by lawyers who said the top government lawyer should not be part of the investigation or else his office would not be seen as being independent.
Talib and the lawyers said Gani’s immediate disassociation from the task force would enhance public confidence and integrity over the three investigating bodies – police, MACC and Bank Negara – in executing their duties.
The principle of check and balance between investigation agencies and the public prosecutor must be observed to ensure justice to all parties, including the public.
Talib, who was A-G from 1980 and 1993, said it was not desirable for Gani, as the public prosecutor, to be a member of the task force. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysia is going through “the worst of times”. Are there enough Malaysians to make it “the best of times”?
Never before has Malaysia been in such a mess.
What is devastating is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Malaysia’s spirit cannot soar and reach for the skies, to seek and attain an ever-higher level of national achievement and human excellence.
Instead, we are daily bogged down by the mundane and sordid details of one scandal after another, as if we need constant reminders as to how far Malaysia has fallen from grace from the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak and Hussein Onn.
Dominating the landscape of scandals is the 1MDB “mother and mother of all financial scandals”, a hydra-headed monster capable of unending combinations and permutations to unveil the gravity of the collapse of an ethical government and the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance in the country. Read the rest of this entry »
by Niluksi Koswanage Shamim Adam
July 9, 2015
As Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak fights claims aired in a Wall Street Journal report that about $700 million in funds connected to a state investment company allegedly ended up in his personal bank accounts, here’s a guide on the key players in the furor and what to watch for.
Q: What is 1Malaysia Development Bhd. or 1MDB?
Najib chairs the advisory board of the debt-ridden state investment company. The Wall Street Journal reported July 3 that money may have moved through government agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before apparently appearing in Najib’s personal accounts. A task force investigating the claims visited 1MDB’s Kuala Lumpur headquarters on Wednesday and left with documents.
1MDB had its origins in the Terengganu Investment Authority, which was created in 2009 to invest oil royalties from the state of Terengganu. When Najib became prime minister that year it was renamed 1MDB, became a national entity and its funding source was changed to government-backed debt.
The company has courted controversy, accumulating $11 billion of debt in less than five years, paying a premium in the acquisition of energy assets, and criticized for overpaying Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage its bond sales.
1MDB flirted with default when it missed a loan repayment late last year and eventually settled it in February. It announced plans the same month to wind down, with asset sales or an initial public offering of its energy unit, and the spinning off of its property businesses. Its purpose was to serve as a catalyst for projects of strategic importance, it said Feb. 18, and it’s “achieved this.”
The auditor-general has been probing 1MDB’s finances since March. It is set to hand its interim report on Thursday to a parliamentary committee. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should heed Musa Hitam’s advice and immediately go on leave as Prime Minister pending investigation by an independent commission of inquiry
Datuk Seri Najib Razak should heed the advice of his former mentor, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam that he should go on leave as Prime Minister pending investigation into the Wall Street Journal report and allegation of US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into his personal accounts in AmBank within to weeks of the dissolution of Parliament on 3rd April 2013 and his role and involvement in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.
Najib had accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of “working hand in glove with foreign nationals” in “a concerted campaign of political sabotage to topple a democratically-elected Prime Minister”, but Najib cannot make such an accusation against Musa.
In an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider, Musa said Najib has three options: (I) to remain in office and fight the allegations; (ii) resign as Prime Minister; and (iii) go on leave pending investigations by a special government task force.
Musa personally would prefer if Najib takes the third option to allow for an open and transparent investigation, as he holds dear to the legal maxim that one is innocent until proven guilty and this applies to Najib. Read the rest of this entry »
ANALISIS OLEH ZULKIFLI SULONG, PENGARANG ANALISIS DAN RENCANA
The Malaysian Insider
8 July 2015
Siapakah yang bakal mendapat manfaat daripada krisis dihadapi Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak sekarang?
Siapakah bakal dilantik perdana menteri sekiranya Najib terpaksa melepaskan jawatan ekoran skandal syarikat sarat hutang 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) yang sudah menjadi perhatian antarabangsa.
The Malaysian Insider cuba menyenaraikan tokoh yang mungkin mendapat manfaat sekiranya anak kepada perdana menteri kedua, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein berundur. Read the rest of this entry »
by Austin Ramzy
New York Times
July 7, 2015
HONG KONG — Officials in Malaysia said on Tuesday that they had frozen bank accounts as part of an investigation into the country’s troubled development investment fund and accusations that hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund had been transferred to Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Government investigators have been looking into the finances of the heavily indebted 1Malaysia Development Berhad, also known as 1MDB. News reports have said that some of its funds have been routed to accounts controlled by Mr. Najib. Read the rest of this entry »
by Michael Peel in Kuala Lumpur
July 6, 2015
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak faces a struggle for survival amid growing fallout from allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were channeled from a state development fund into his personal bank accounts.
Investigators of the escalating scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad have passed the country’s Attorney-General evidence relating to transfers totaling almost $700m shortly before the last elections.
Mr Najib has denied taking money for personal gain and has denounced the accusations as “a concerted campaign of political sabotage to topple a democratically elected Prime Minister”.
The Financial Times has not been able to independently verify the allegations. They have added to turmoil in Malaysian politics at a time when Mr Najib’s United Malays National Organisation faces a grave challenge to its near six-decade hegemony.
Analysts say the claims, reported on Friday by the Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report website, are potentially fatal for Mr Najib’s career. They appear to make the first direct link between the premier and the long-running scandal over how 1MDB racked up debts of more than $11bn. Read the rest of this entry »
July 2, 2015
Sources say government is delaying funds and slowing proposals in state Mukhriz controls.
The scorched-earth war between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his one-time mentor, former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, has extended to the northern state of Kedah, where Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, rules as chief minister.
The federal government in Putrajaya reportedly has cut budget allocations to the state, one of the country’s poorest, and is dragging its heels on a proposal by Mukhriz to build an airport in the city of Kulim which Mukhriz deems crucial to boosting the local economy. Reportedly other economic initiatives have been blocked through the federal government’s refusal to pay full land premium for land that Mukhriz is attempting to convert to industrial uses. He is also encountering sniping from Najib forces in the state over his performance as chief minister
It was his father, Mahathir, who paved the way for Najib to become prime minister, first grooming him as defense minister, and then, in 2009 playing an instrumental role in driving his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from power. Anointed by Mahathir, Najib became prime minister only to lead the Barisan in 2013 to the first loss of the popular vote since 1969, although it retained its majority in parliament through gerrymandering. Read the rest of this entry »
Has Gani Patail joined Mahathir’s camp in the “political sabotage” of Najib when the AG confirmed that government probe on 1MDB had found documentary evidence on the RM2.6 billion deposit into Najib’s private account?
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak blamed his predecessor and one-time patron, Tun Dr. Mahathir of being the “mastermind” for the latest allegation of him siphoning money from 1MDB.
Najib said he believe that Mahathir, “working hand in glove with foreign nationals, including the now discredited political attack blog Sarawak Report, is behind the latest lie”.
The Prime Minister made this accusation in reference to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on Friday which alleged that US$700 million (RM2.6 million) of 1MDB’s fund was deposited into the Prime Minister’s private account.
Najib declared that he had never taken the government’s money for personal gain.
He said the latest allegation is part of a series of “unsubstantiated and many simply outrageous” claims made against him and his family when he refused to implement Mahathir’s personal demands.
Najib said: “I refused, because I do not believe it is right for Malaysia to be ruled by proxy.”
Nobody knows what Najib is actually referring to with regard to Mahathir’s personal agenda, as it is for him to spell out Mahathir’s “personal demands” for the public to judge whether to believe the Prime Minister or the former Prime Minister.
However, I am not the only one in Malaysia who, in the last five years, had been bamboozled and bewildered by one of the longest and elaborate “smoke and mirrors” displays in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion MDB financial scandal. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
By John Berthelsen
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 »