Archive for category Mahathir

Get it right this time, Tun M

Fa Abdul | February 23, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

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Mahathir has so far been wrong in his choice of deputies and handpicked successors.

When I was eight, I used to utter bad words. “Basket” was my favourite, if you get what I mean. Mom would first warn me. And the second time, I’d have chilli paste all over my mouth.

I grew up learning that it is okay to make a mistake once. But when you repeat it, it is no longer a mistake.

However, some people tend to make mistakes over and over and over again, especially when they can get away with it.

This reminds me of Tun M. He first chose Musa Hitam as his deputy. It did not work out. He then chose the late Abdul Ghafar Baba. Also did not work out. And then, it was Anwar Ibrahim. But that ended tragically.

Frustrated and having to make a decision, he handpicked Pak Lah. Big mistake. Accusing him of betraying his trust, Tun M told Pak Lah to step down. However, this isn’t anything new in our political scene. Tunku at one point did express his regret over choosing Tun Abdul Razak. And Tun Hussein Onn also regretted his choice of Tun M as his successor. So Tun M regretting his choice of Pak Lah is completely understandable. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Sodomy I to Sodomy II – Malaysia regressing to the darkness and repression 17 years ago when the country should be moving forward to greater freedom, justice, prosperity and confidence after the passage of almost two decades

Wishing all Malaysian Chinese as well as Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, a Happy Chinese New Year as it is now a festivity celebrated by all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

Chinese New Year, which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, has been described as the most important holiday for Chinese people worldwide.

In China, it is marked by the world’s largest annual human migrations with 2.8 billion trips made across the country in the mass exodus of students, migrant labourers, factory workers and office employees making their long journeys home to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year in Malaysia has become a very Malaysian affair, despite its ethnic origins and associations.

In Malaysia, the Chinese New Year is also marked by major human migrations, but not confined to the Chinese as it affects other ethnic groups as well.

Many issues will jostle for top attention among Malaysians during the Chinese New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration and its implications

Mohd Nawab Mohd Osman, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
13 February 2015

The verdict is finally out. After months of speculations over Anwar Ibrahim’s fate, the Malaysian High courts have upheld the guilty verdict for the former deputy prime minister over the charge of sodomy. The verdict was particularly surprising for some within the Opposition circles who were confident that Anwar would be freed. The verdict has in theory sealed Anwar’s political fate given that he will be in prison for five years and be barred from assuming political office for another five years. This – at 77 – would render him too old to become the next leader of the country. The verdict is likely to have long term consequences for both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Malaysian politics.

Prosecuting Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim is a key figure in Malaysian politics. He will long be remembered for changing Malaysia’s political landscape. Dismissed as a spent force following his ouster from the ruling party – the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) – and subsequent jail term for sodomy and corruption, against all odds, he rose from the political doldrums to lead the PR to its best electoral performance in 2008. In 2013, the coalition bettered this performance by winning the popular votes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir seemed to have crossed the Rubicon and is going for the kill in his campaign to topple Najib as Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister and UMNO’s eminence grise, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad seemed to have crossed the Rubicon and is going for the kill in his campaign to topple Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister and add another item in his collection of the scalps of Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers in Malaysia.

Najib and his advisers might have thought that Mahathir would have been appeased at least temporarily with the Federal Court’s unconvincing dismissal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal and sending the 67-year-old one-time nemesis of Mahathir back to prison for the third time to serve a five-year jail sentence, but it is clear that such calculations were completely misplaced.

On the very evening of the Federal Court’s two-hour decision, which was forever tarnished by the outrageous three-paragraph statement of the Prime Minister’s Office raising the strongest doubts about the full restoration of a truly independent judiciary and a just rule of law in Malaysia, Mahathir wrote the infamous blog “Something Rotten”, quoting Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the immortal remark that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
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Dr. M – you started all the rot in Hamlet in your 22 years as Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has declared that I am not a communist but he called me an “authoritarian”.

I do not know whether I should thank Mahathir for clearing me of the “communist” charge which is still hurled against me by UMNO cybertroopers together with other lies and falsehoods like being the cause of May 13 race riots in 1969.

Mahathir wants probably to clear his name for he would look extremely foolish to have allowed a “communist” to operate freely in Parliament, having been Prime Minister for 22 years and Home Minister for nearly 15 years.

If I had been a “communist”, then Mahathir would be a failure as a Prime Minister and Home Minister not to know it.

I am intrigued by his accusation that I am an “authoritarian” and wants my son, Guan Eng, to replace me.

I would not accuse Mahathir of senility although he is capable of pretending to be senile and even pretend to suffer from amnesia, which was quite a show that he staged during his appearance at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Videotapes, when he suffered from so many lapses of amnesia which had not been repeated.
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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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Why is Najib the only one of six Prime Ministers to sanction, condone and defend the totally indefensible rabid racist statement of one of his Ministers?

The rabid racist statement by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses has snowballed from the aberration of one errant Minister to a crisis of an entire errant Cabinet of 35 Ministers because of the extraordinary and outrageous decision by the Cabinet to sanction, condone and defend Ismail’s racist fulminations.

Today is the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s 112th birthday anniversary. I have no doubt that if the Ismail Sabry episode had happened in Tunku’s time as Prime Minister, Ismail would have been made to apologise for his racist fulminations and even been sacked from Tunku’s Cabinet.

This was why in my statement six days ago on 2nd February, I had said:

“If a past Minister had done what Ismail did under the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, he would have been sacked on the spot immediately after the expression of such racist sentiments, for it would be conclusive proof of his total unsuitability to continue as a Cabinet Minister in a plural society.

“I think such a Minister would have been sacked by Tun Dr. Mahathir during his 22 years of premiership although Mahathir may now look for excuses to come to Ismail’s defence or rescue.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Squabbling politicians leaving Malaysians without much leadership or hope

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
28 January 2015

Nearly two years after the last Malaysian general elections, both the ruling and opposition coalitions are imploding – one with internal leadership crises and the other with public quarrels over policies.

In the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno and MIC leaders past and present are tussling for influence and leadership, the MCA is largely irrelevant while Gerakan and PPP are absent.

On the other side, Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and PAS are crossing swords and PKR is just opposing everything with a street protest always a handy tool to keep it seen as championing a cause.

The big loser? Ordinary Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Najib be Mahathir’s sixth scalp or is Malaysia hauling the first “tiger” or “crocodile” to court and prison in the country’s anti-corruption campaign?

The country’s politics is abuzz with extraordinary news recently, raising the question whether the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia will be the sixth scalp of the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia or whether the country is hauling the first “tiger” or “crocodile” to court and prison in Malaysia’s anti-corruption campaign.

In the past 45 years, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had collected five scalps of top political leaders in the country, starting with Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, two Deputy Prime Ministers who might have gone on to become Prime Ministers, Tun Musa Hitam and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and the eternal Prime Minister-aspirant Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The question now is whether Mahathir will add the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to his collection of six top political scalps in Malaysia. 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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Finding ‘dirt’ on the 25 is dirty, to say the least

-Dr Azmi Sharom
Rakyat Times
22 December 2014

Ah, Awang Selamat.

One can always depend on you to say the most ridiculous things.

Today, I read that this ‘person’ (in reality the collective editorial voice of that paragon of journalistic virtue: Utusan Malaysia) wants the 25 Eminent Malays investigated.

Their backgrounds and lifestyles should be put under the microscope, they say.

I guess this is so that the erstwhile ‘newspaper’ can find out any “dirt” on the 25 and then they will be able to dish it out with orgasmic glee.

In this way they can detract from the fact that respectable individuals, who are essentially conservative people who have served the nation all their working lives, and who I am sure would be happy to spend their retirement in peace with their grandchildren, have felt that this country is in such a poor state that even they have to say something about it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M fear-mongering, playing race card to keep Umno in power, say analysts

by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
22 December 2014

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s warning that the Malays are losing political dominance and may end up being left behind was meant to strike fear into the community and ensure that Umno remained in power, analysts said.

Observers said the former prime minister was also looking at matters through a racial lens, which was ironic considering that he was a proponent of Bangsa Malaysia policy of an inclusive national identity.

Professor James Chin said it was impossible for the Malays to lose power to the minority races in the country as all the top positions, from the Malay rulers to the civil service, were dominated by that community.

Citing examples, the academic with Monash University Malaysia said the posts of prime minister and deputy prime minister, at least half the Cabinet postings as well as senior positions in the government service were held by Malays.

“He is stating that to play up the racial card and to scare the Malays to ensure Umno remains in power,” Chin told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to Mahathir to a public debate on “Whether after 57 years of UMNO government and six UMNO Prime Ministers, Malays have lost political power and become beggars in their own land”

Yesterday, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir repeated ad nauseam his politics of fear, hate and lies that Malays have lost political power and have become beggars in their own land.

Does Mahathir really believe such garbage, that after 57 years of UMNO Government and six UMNO Prime Ministers – with him ruling for 22 years or 39% of these 57 years as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia – that the Malays have lost political power and become beggars in their own land?

If so, then this is the most powerful reason why the Malays and even Malaysians must throw UMNO out of Putrajaya in the 14GE, for there can be no greater indictment of the failures of 57 years of UMNO rule under six UMNO Prime Ministers (including his 22 years as PM) than the fate Mahathir insists the Malays have been reduced to – stripped of political power to become beggars in their own land!
But does this fearsome scenario tally with reality?

Malaysia had not only been ruled by the UMNO Government under six UMNO Prime Ministers for 57 years, the DPMs, the heavy-weight Cabinet Ministers like Finance, Home and Education; the Attorney-General; heads of the civil service, judiciary, the police, the armed forces and the army, navy and air force; secretaries-general of all important and the overwhelming majority of ministries; heads of key government departments and statutory bodies, the Vice Chancellors of all public universities – they are all helmed by Malays.

The UMNO mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia, recently quoted the Public Service Department (JPA) director of organizational development Datuk Norzam Mohd Nor as saying that a whopping 60 per cent of chief executives helming government statutory bodies appear to have little knowledge about their agencies.

Is this fault to be laid at the doors of the Chinese in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »

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Why such uneasiness among Muslims over ‘Allah’?

By Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Oct 12, 2013

As the nation anxiously awaits the Court of Appeal’s decision on Monday regarding the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims, a short chapter on the controversial issue in former Tenaga Nasional Bhd chief’s latest book, ‘Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope’, is both apt and timely.

Representing the “endangered species” of broadminded Malays who grew up in multicultural Malaysia, Ani asks, “Why there is so much uneasiness among Muslims to hear others using the word loosely?”

Ani is referring to the dispute on the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in Malaysia, which has gone all the way up to the appellate court.

It has also created tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country, which led to a few churches being fire-bombed following the High Court decision to allow the Catholic weekly The Herald to use the word ‘Allah’ for God in Bahasa Malaysia, the language used by many Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.

Pig’s heads, wrapped in plastic, were also found in two mosques in Kuala Lumpur, but to date police have not arrested the culprits. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ani Arope on how TNB got a raw deal from IPPs

By Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Oct 11, 2013

In his book published by the Fulbright Alumni Association of Malaysia, former Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) executive chairperson Ani Arope reveals how, after the landmark blackout in Peninsular Malaysia in 1992, TNB was forced to surrender the land it had acquired in Paka (Terengganu) and Pasir Gudang (Johor) to a third party for power plants.

This started the era of the independent power producers (IPPs) and the first was YTL Power Generation Sdn Bhd.

This was followed by a slew of other IPPs – Powertek Bhd, Genting Sanyan Power Sdn Bhd, Segeri Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd, Malakoff Bhd, Tanjung plc, EPE Power Sabah Energy Corp, Alpha Intercount’l Bhd, Sutera Bhd, Cergas Unggul Sdn Bhd and Ekran Corp.

Although Ani, who is Malaysia’s first Fulbright scholar, had felt that the power purchase agreements with YTL for a period of 21 years – from 1994 to 2015 – were “too darn generous”, he was pressured to ink the deal, which had been drafted by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

Then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the man who “engineered” the rise of IPPs.

“There was no negotiation; absolutely none. Instead of talking directly with the IPPs, TNB was sitting down with the EPU. And we were harassed, humiliated and talked down every time we went there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ultra Malays out to polarise nation, warns Ani Arope

By Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Oct 10, 2013

To say that Ani Arope epitomises a true Malay statesman is an understatement.

In his recently launched ‘Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope’, the former chairperson and chief executive of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (1990-96) portrays himself as a good communicator who speaks fluent Hokkien, passable Cantonese and Mandarin and reasonably good Tamil and French.

Yet, he did not at any point lose his identity as a Malay, a person well-respected by family and friends as ‘Pak Ani’ or Uncle Ani.

Lamenting that a lot of today’s woes are the result of gutter politics played by politicians bounded by arrogance, boastfulness, avarice, hate and jealousy, the octogenarian says his major concern is “to see a more stark polarisation of races in our schools and institutions of higher learning”.

Ani, the country’s first recipient of the Fulbright scholarship in 1964, said such polarisation opened the door to prejudice and bigotry among the various races. Read the rest of this entry »

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Race riots could be costly, warns Ani Arope in memoirs

By Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Oct 9, 2013

Collateral damage resulting from a race riot or a civil strife is too great a cost of human sufferings, the former Tenaga Nasional Bhd executive chairperson Ani Arope has warned.

“It should never be our political option,” he says in his book, ‘Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope’.

The 81-year-old outspoken Malay statesman said although the issue of special rights for Malays and other bumiputeras is and will always be a delicate issue, he hopes to see the loopholes of the New Economy Policy plugged.

If these rights will benefit Malays and other bumiputeras who truly deserve, then Malaysians will view the whole matter in a different light,” he notes.

“However, it appears that these rights have been skewered to benefit the privileged Malays. The rural folk and those who really need help are getting the smallest of crumbs, if at all.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The politics of inequality

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
20 December 2014

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not mince his words. Not since he started in politics and definitely not now, more than a decade after stepping down as Malaysia’s fourth prime minister.

But there are days where you wonder where is he coming from. Today, he said the Malays’ grip on politics was weak due to disunity and them having to beg from other races for support to remain in power.

“Now Umno, PKR, and PAS have to beg for support from DAP Chinese to win the general election. When we become beggars, we no longer have power,” he said in his keynote address at a youth leadership programme in Kuala Lumpur.

He added that even if the country achieved developed-nation status, the Malays might be left behind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Dream Phase 2 – Call on Malaysians, regardless of political party, race, religion, region, gender or age to unite and stand up as patriots and moderates of Malaysia to practise the politics of inclusion to save the country from extremism, intolerance and bigotry

When I contested Gelang Patah in May last year in the 13th General Elections, it was in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream which envisions Malaysia as a plural society where all her citizens are united as one people, rising above their ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic and regional differences as the common grounds binding them as one citizenship exceeds the differences that divide them because of their ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural and regional divisions.

Nineteen months after the 13th General Elections, the Malaysian Dream is more relevant and even more important than ever.

The UMNO General Assembly in the last week of November is the classic example of the divisive and deleterious politics of exclusion in Malaysia, which emphasises and deepens the differences among Malaysians especially over race and religion, which will even condemn Malaysia to the fate of a failed state if these trends are not checked and arrested, with worsening disunity and greater racial and religious polarisation as happened in the past 19 months since the 13GE.

In the UMNO General Assembly, as well as at the various conferences running up to it, Malaysians saw the worst examples of the politics of fear, hate and lies, creating imaginary fears and fighting imaginary enemies – that the Malays and Islam are under threat, that the Chinese are out to grab the political power of the Malays, that ”if UMNO loses, Malays may never rule again”, that the Malays have become slaves in their own land, that the Malays could suffer a fate similar to Red Indians in the United States and the “mother of all lies”, that the Chinese in Kedah burnt the Quran “page by page during a prayer ritual”.
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Why after 57 years of Umno/BN government, and the “seminal” 22 years of Mahathir premiership, Malaysia is producing minnows instead of towering personalities so much so that we have to appoint an “orang putih” to save MAS?

The suggestion by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir that Malaysia should have a white man (orang putih) as Prime Minister is most amusing and even comical, coming from a person who had breathed fire and brimstone in the last general elections, throwing all political scruples to the winds in falsely accusing me of spearheading a Chinese grab of the political power of the Malays by contesting in the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency, who suddenly produced a “new rabbit from his hat” – an ‘orang putih’ Prime Minister in Malaysia.

Of course, Mahathir was indulging in his classic “tongue-in-cheek” Mahathirism in objecting to the appointment of a German, Christoph Mueller as MAS chief executive officer to manage and save the revamped national airline, MAS from next year.

I agree with Mahathir that it is an indictment of Malaysia’s talents, skills, expertise and intellectual prowess that we could not find a Malaysian to save MAS.

Are Malaysians so bereft of talents, skills, experience and expertise that we have to go outside the country to source for a saviour for MAS?

The question all Malaysians must ponder is why after 57 years of Umno/BN government, and in particular what is regarded as a “seminal” 22-year Mahathir premiership, followed by the Abdullah and Najib premierships, to produce Towering Malaysians, Malaysia seems to be producing minnows instead of towering Malaysians in various fields of human endeavour whom we can export all over the world to help other countries in distress with their talents, skills, experience and expertise?

How can we save the world when we cannot even save ourselves?

Why have we been increasingly reduced to a near “basket case” as to have to appoint an “orang putih” to save our national airline? Is there not a single soul in Malaysia who could be appointed to do the job? Read the rest of this entry »

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