Archive for category Mahathir

Excerpt #1: Chicken Coop At Dusk

by Bakri Musa
Malaysia’s Wasted Decade 2004-2014. The Toxic Triad of Abdullah, Najib, and UMNO Leadership #1
April 5th, 2015

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stunned his followers when he announced his resignation at his UMNO’s General Assembly in June 2002. He had been in office for over 22 years. The unexpected announcement triggered mass hysteria among his followers. Senior ministers and party leaders openly wept, and pandemonium broke out in the hall.

The scene resembled a chicken coop at dusk when the birds were settling down in their comfort zone when suddenly their head rooster flew the coop, or attempted to. The cacophony settled down and calm returned only after senior leaders cajoled Mahathir to delay his retirement until October 31st the following year, and he agreed.

That collective hysteria and mass crying were reflective of how dependent UMNO members were on Mahathir. He was their messiah, and now he was abandoning them. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Save Malaysia” , “Save UMNO” and “Save Najib” are three entirely different concepts but they provide another example of the poor comprehension levels and declining educational standards in Malaysia

Although Barisan Nasonal Ministers continue to claim, without batting an eyelid, that Malaysia has one of the best educational systems in the world which is comparable if not better than the best in the world, there is no lack of example of the poor comprehension levels and declining educational standards in Malaysia.

These are not just from the results of international assessment tests like PISA (Programme for International Students Assessments) or TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Studies) where Malaysian students scored consistently in the world’s lowest one-third bracket, four or even five years behind their peers in the world’s top achieving countries like Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea and Japan or the various world top university rankings where Malaysia seemed to have slipped into the zone of oblivion.

Malaysian are often regaled by frequent bloopers like the recent case of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who sent the police into a frenzy of action because he thought that a tweet by an Opposition Member of Parliament “Royal my foot” was a blatant and seditious attack on the institution of constitutional monarchy or the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi who believed that his infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the United States vouching for the character and integrity of an international gambling kingpin was merely to confirm that the “14K triad” did not exist in the country.

Of course these bloopers were nothing compared to the one made collectively by Najib’s 35-member Cabinet which created history and a record of sorts when they completely misunderstood the call by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses as not targetting Chinese traders alone but aimed at all traders.

But the biggest howler must be those who cannot differentiate the complexities of three entirely different concepts – “Save Malaysia”, “Save UMNO” and “Save Najib”, thinking that they are one and the same. Read the rest of this entry »

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Freeing Anwar Ibrahim from Sungai Buloh prison must be top agenda of the “Save Malaysia” Grand Coalition post-BN and post-PR

Seven weeks ago, at the Bukit Bintang DAP anniversary dinner, I threw up the idea of a new coalition government post-BN and post-PR to “Save Malaysia” as Malaysia seemed suddenly in “no man’s land” in over half-a-century of independent nation after Merdeka in 1957 and formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The events of the past 26 days have fortified the need for new thinking, even thinking the unthinkable, about the unprecedented political landscape evolving in the country, for not only are the two political coalition in the country, the ruling Barisan Nasional and the Federal Opposition Pakatan Rakyat, in serious trouble, the very existence of the Malaysian federation has been called into question for the first time since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The past seven weeks have seen the premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak coming under even greater challenge, with the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad leading the attack, raising issues which Pakatan Rakyat leaders have kept in the national forefront all this while, in particular the RM42 billion 1MDB financial scandal, the unanswered question of motive in the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial, amidst a host of questions about nation-building, good governance, the rule of law; the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, Police and the Anti-Corruption Commission; respect for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression and the press in Malaysia.

Never before has the ruling coalition in Malaysia come under such intense attack – at a time when the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which had created history in winning the majority of the electorate in the 13th General Elections but denied the majority of the parliamentary seats and therefore the Putrajaya seat of Federal power because of unfair and undemocratic gerrymandering of electoral constituencies, is itself facing an unprecedented crisis!

It is no exaggeration to say that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are facing a ‘life-and-death crisis, which has mushroomed into a life-and-death crisis for the Malaysian Federation formed in 1963. Read the rest of this entry »

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An open letter to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

By J.D. Lovrenciear
Free Malaysia Today
April 5, 2015

COMMENT

In thirty-odd years of writing (over 10,000 pieces in the media), I have never once written in the first person. But today, inspired by your open admissions and determined manifestations of recent weeks, I appeal to you, Sir, to put a stop to the reality of the day, i.e. that Malaysians are walking in shame in the eyes of the world community of professionals, honourable investors, and within the revered hallways of academia.

Tun, never has a nation in recent times had its citizens walk in such shame as is happening in Malaysia.

The unstoppable reports of corruption, extravagance, inept leadership, wastage and profiteering at the expense of nationhood, systemic attacks and compromises on our institutions of nationhood and the horrendous crime against Altantuya – all of these and many more that you are cognizant of have eroded the dignity, honour and reputation of this nation.

Yes, there is no perfect nation. But when Malaysians are forced to bow their heads and walk with so much shame, what do we do? Read the rest of this entry »

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Altantuya murder – the missing links

By Americk Sidhu
Malaysiakini
Apr 6, 2015

COMMENT This is the first time in 34 years I have actually found myself in agreement with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his recent, although rather belated, queries in respect of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder saga.

These questions make sense. These are the same questions a very large portion of the Malaysian population has been asking for over eight years now.

Khalid Abu Baka, our beloved inspector-general of police (IGP), has in the meantime, been performing backward somersaults trying to avoid the entire issue and instead, appears to have dedicated his entire career to tracking Twitter messages on social media.

‘Twitter Khalid’ has even had the audacity to threaten (which he is very good at) anyone who dares to bring up the issue of ‘motive’ in the grisly murder of an innocent female foreign national at the hands of two of Malaysia’s best trained commandos. Read the rest of this entry »

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Excerpt #1: Chicken Coop At Dusk

by Bakri Musa
6th April 2015

Malaysia’s Wasted Decade 2004-2014. The Toxic Triad of Abdullah, Najib, and UMNO Leadership

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stunned his followers when he announced his resignation at his UMNO’s General Assembly in June 2002. He had been in office for over 22 years. The unexpected announcement triggered mass hysteria among his followers. Senior ministers and party leaders openly wept, and pandemonium broke out in the hall.

The scene resembled a chicken coop at dusk when the birds were settling down in their comfort zone when suddenly their head rooster flew the coop, or attempted to. The cacophony settled down and calm returned only after senior leaders cajoled Mahathir to delay his retirement until October 31st the following year, and he agreed.

That collective hysteria and mass crying were reflective of how dependent UMNO members were on Mahathir. He was their messiah, and now he was abandoning them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Khalid will not last long as IGP under a Prime Minister who exacts the highest professional standards from the top cop in the country and who does not just play with twitter or come out with nonsensical answers to serious questions

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar will not last long as Inspector-General of Police under a Prime Minister who exacts the highest professional standards from the top cop in the country and who does not just play with twitter or come out with nonsensical answers to serious questions.

Khalid’s response to the query by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir as to why there had been no investigation as to who had issued the order to murder Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu is most nonsensical to say the least.

With great magnanimity, Khalid excused Mahathir for his ignorance in raising questions about Altantuya’s murder on the ground that the former Prime Minister was unaware of details of the police investigations into the matter, including allegations made by the fugitive police commando Sirul Azhar Umar.

Khalid said yesterday:

“Of course (Mahathir) doesn’t know what actions we have taken (and) what investigations we have conducted.

“What Sirul recently raised has also been probed by us and we are of the view that there is nothing (in his claim) for us to continue (with) the investigation.”

Khalid said Sirul had many opportunities to raise the claim but he did not.

“My response to Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Mahathir: this case happened eight years ago.

“Sirul has plenty of opportunities to raise this issue – before the trial, during the police investigation, after the trial, while waiting for the appeal – but why now? This is the big question.”

It is sad that the Inspector-General of Police did not realise that he was making a fool of himself with such a response as Sirul did raise the issue more than once that he was merely carrying out orders in Altantuya’s murder, but the highest police authorities were not prepared to carry out a thorough investigation into Sirul’s allegations.

In fact, Sirul had consistently said during police investigations, the trial and after the appeal that he was merely carrying out orders to kill Altantuya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Mahathir Asks Who Ordered Mongolian Beauty’s Death

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
April 2, 2015

But why now?

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has opened questions on who was behind the Oct. 18, 2006 murder of the Mongolian translator and party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu by two bodyguards of then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak. The killing is arguably the most notorious murder in recent Malaysian history.

Another question that has to be asked, however, is why Mahathir didn’t ask who killed the Mongolian beauty eight years and six months ago. It is tempting to suspect that Mahathir, who asked the questions on his blog chedet.cc on April 2, knows the answer. In the wake of the killing, top political circles in Malaysia were throbbing with rumors, especially over the fact that Altantuya was pregnant and that her body may have been blown up with military explosives to destroy the DNA of the person who made her that way. Those rumors have long suggested that someone close to Najib had ordered her killed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Pairin, Harris as well as Najib to confirm that 30 years ago, the Berjaya Sabah State government was on the verge of surrendering the state’s autonomy powers on immigration to the Federal Government

The report in today’s Free Malaysia Today must be a shock to Sabahans and Malaysians, for it was revealed for the first time that some 30 years ago, the Sabah state government was on the verge of surrendering the state’s autonomy powers on immigration to the Federal Government.

This came about in the ongoing polemics betwee two former Sabah Chief Ministers, Datuk Harris Salleh and his nemesis, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

The Free Malaysia Today report “Pairin tells Harris not to harp on ‘lost’ Sabah rights” quoted Joseph Pairin as reminding Harris that it was under Harris’ Berjaya Sabah State government that Sabah’s state rights were “slowly eroded until very little was lieft”.

Joseph Pairin said that if it had not be him as Chief Minister from 1985 to 1994, even the special immigration powers vested in the state would have been taken away.

Pairin alleged: “The Berjaya Government was on the verge of surrendering Sabah’s immigration powers before it was ousted from power.
“Some of us in Berjaya stopped it and asked for three years to think it over.”

Pairin said that “luckily”, his 45-day-old Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) wrested the reins of power from Berjaya and that “put paid to the Federal Government’s plan to abolish the state’s immigration powers”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Mahathir again make history – to be sacked from UMNO twice apart from quitting once on his own?

The Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak went into a political offensive yesterday when opening the two-day 2015 Kedah UMNO Convention, calling on UMNO members to ignore ‘jemuan-jemuan’ (bad characters) and apple-polishers as these people cause disunity in the ranks.

He said UMNO was capable of remaining in power and win elections if these “unwanted people” were not in the party.

Who are these “bad characters” that Najib was referring to?

The persons who immediately come to mind are UMNO’s longest-serving Prime Minister and President, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, his two-time Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin and his “hullubalangs” like former Information Minister and Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief Zainuddin Maidin.

It is most noteworthy that Najib has chosen Kedah to go on the offensive, making the speech before the Kedah Mentri Besar, Mukhriz Mahathir, when everybody at the convention and outside knew that heading the “jemuan-jemuan” slammed by Najib is none other than Mukriz’s father, Tun Mahathir. Read the rest of this entry »

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Harrow playboy linked to troubled Malaysian fund

Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Clare Rewcastle and Josh Boswell
The Sunday Times London
1 March 2015

IN THE summer of 2009, a Malaysian nicknamed “the Whale” appeared on the New York nightclub scene. He would travel with a large entourage in a fleet of Cadillacs and his party would spend tens of thousands of dollars a night in the company of socialites such as Paris Hilton.

“The Whale” is said to have celebrated his 28th birthday with a four-day event in Las Vegas that included a party at a pool surrounded by caged lions and tigers. Manhattan was abuzz with questions over his identity and the source of his wealth.

It emerged that the “mystery man” of the nightclubs was the Malaysian tycoon Taek Jho Low, who had been educated at Harrow School and the Wharton School in Pennsylvania. He claimed his success was due to being in the “right place at the right time”.

Low certainly has a wide range of business interests, building up a £650m investment fund that he started at university. He also runs Jynwel Capital, a Hong Kong fund with investments in media, retail, property and commodities. His family is independently wealthy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Get it right this time, Tun M

Fa Abdul | February 23, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT

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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