Archive for category Mariam Mokhtar

The hardest word

- Mariam Mokhtar
Rakyat Times
21 December 2014

The day Malaysia makes history will be the day our leaders apologise for their shortcomings, say ‘sorry’ for the failures of their staff, and express regret for the abuses of power by their children. Malaysians have much to learn from South Korea, and our leaders should learn the lesson from the ‘Nut Rage’ scandal.

Cho Hyun-ah, daughter of the chairman of Korean Air, apologised for losing her temper with a First-Class air steward at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport on Dec 5. Cho, who was a senior vice-president and head of cabin service for Korean Air, had been served nuts in a bag and not on a plate. The plane had been waiting to take off when she ordered the captain to return and drop off the offending cabin crew member.

The contrast in her behaviour, a few days later, could not have been more stark. Cho was brought back down to earth with a bump. Her arrogance, that of someone with the power to overrule the pilot, was gone. In a faint, trembling voice, Cho issued her grovelling public an apology. Dressed in black from head to toe, with her hair shielding her face from the cameras and onlookers, she avoided eye contact and bowed her head in shame.

Hours earlier, her father Cho Yang-ho, also the chairman of Korean Air, had apologised and bowed before journalists at the airline’s head office. He expressed regret for his daughter’s actions and said, “It’s my fault. As chairman and father, I ask for the public’s generous forgiveness.”

News agencies like Reuters and Associated Press had reported that the South Koreans had been outraged by the behaviour of the children and grandchildren of the founders of big business empires. Cho was dubbed a “princess” for shaming the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Portrait of a confused hero

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 15, 2014

We are familiar with the expression, “Behind every great man, is a woman”, but in Ibrahim Ali’s case, the expression which best fits him was said by the comedian Jim Carrey, “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes”.

Yesterday, Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa declared himself a hero of the Malay community. He lashed out at the group of 25 former civil servants and academics who had penned an open letter to Najib Abdul Razak to halt the spread of extremism. Malaysians affectionately dubbed this influential group, the ‘Eminent 25’; however, an irate Ibrahim called them “cowards”.

For the 25 people to “come out” means that a point of no return has been breached; but let us examine the profile of Ibrahim Ali, the self-proclaimed hero. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet wages war on the rakyat

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 1, 2014

Watching the succession of cabinet members spewing inflammatory rhetoric at the Umno Baru general assembly (GA) was like observing notorious class bullies playing to a crowd of their most loyal sycophants. The men and women who took to the podium are an embarrassment to their party, the nation and their community. The Father of Independence,Tunku Abdul Rahman, laid the foundations for a united Malaysia. Najib Abdul Razak consigned Tunku’s ideals to the bin.

At the finale of this year’s Umno Baru conference, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi told the delegates to adopt a “war mindset”, to “attack our enemies on the outside” and that “the best form of defence was to attack”. He claimed that Umno Baru’s training and research bureau had the blessing of the PM to use cyber and psychological war tactics to win the 14th general election (GE14).

Since when do leaders of a nation lead a clarion call to wage a war against it own people? Shame on you, Zahid and Najib!

Why are Umno Baru’s party conferences filled with hostility? Where are the words of reconciliation, national unity, 1Malaysia, harmony and cooperation, to address corruption, injustice and to uplift people’s lives? These supposedly illustrious men of the cabinet, including the disgraced former women, community and family development minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, behaved like thugs.

The public are disgusted with blatant corruption, injustice and abuse of power. They only desire a harmonious, multiracial, secular Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who is really guilty of insulting the Malays?

Mariam Mokhtar
Free Malaysia Today
December 1, 2014

Umno Baru sees the Malay mind as fertile ground for sowing the seeds of self-doubt.

COMMENT

Year in and year out, we have the predictably tense run-up to the Umno Baru General Assembly. And then, when they are gathered at PWTC, the various warlords wave their fists, insult the non-Malays, shout themselves hoarse and behave very much like little boys showing off their assets, telling one another, “Mine is bigger than yours.” After that, it is back to the status quo.

This year shows one small variation. Najib Abdul Razak is aware that his political career is nearing the end. He is attempting to prolong it by appeasing the extremists. His method is to use the Sedition Act.
The sedition clampdown has been sweeping the nation like the haze. It blankets the country and is toxic. It chokes us, reduces visibility and makes the vulnerable seriously ill. People are unable to go to work or enjoy themselves. It incapacitates us.

Since the 70s, the Malay mind has been a fertile ground for Umno Baru to sow the seeds of self-doubt. The ideas have been put into his head that he is weak, that his religion is ineffective, and that the Umno Baru brand of Islam is better. Umno Baru takes a departure from the message that the Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman, left us. The Tunku wanted Malaysia to be multiracial and secular, free from feudal bondage. Umno Baru is undoing all of his legacy.

The Malay mind is inundated, daily, with the emotional baggage of race, religion and royalty. With this continual pummelling, his confidence will eventually be eroded.

At the just-concluded assembly, Najib insulted the Malays and told them that without Umno Baru, they would be doomed. Where are the voices of the ordinary Malays to challenge him? Read the rest of this entry »

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The thinking Malay is dangerous

Mariam Mokhtar| October 24, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

The ulamas, like the political leaders, are obsessed with power and want Muslims to be at their mercy.

The most dangerous threat to the Malaysian government is not an invading army, a contagious disease, or a nuclear threat. It is the thinking Malay.

When young pharmacist Syed Azmi Alhabshi decided to organise the “I Want to Touch a Dog” event at Bandar Utama on October 19, he didn’t expect such a huge response. More than 1,000 people –Muslims and non-Muslims – turned up.

Whilst man and beast were having lots of fun, in other parts of the country temperatures were raised. Syed Azmi was perceived as a threat.

Syed Azmi may have united Malaysians but he was alienating some conservative Muslims in Malaysia. His innocent “dog touching event” is a defining moment in 21st Century Malaysian history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar rejects exile

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Oct 20, 2014

Najib Abdul Razak and Umno Baru were denied an early Deepavali present when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim dismissed all talk of going into exile, in London.

Just imagine the headlines in Utusan Malaysia and TV3 if Anwar had chosen exile: ‘Coward Anwar seeks exile to escape jail’, ‘Exile proves Anwar’s guilt’, ‘Anwar abandons followers, lives in luxury in London’, ‘We told you so; Anwar is scared to face the truth’.

When he was interviewed by The Daily Telegraph, Anwar expressed no plans to form a government in exile, in London, despite unsuccessful attempts by his friends to convince him to stay. He admitted the strain placed on his family. He was sanguine about reform.

He said, “It is very difficult, particularly for my family. But when I started this case for reform in Malaysia I knew it was not going to be easy.”

If Anwar had chosen exile, Najib would have effectively isolated Anwar from his followers. The rakyat would not be spared either. They would be told that throwing their money and weight behind Anwar was wasteful, and their support for the opposition a futile cause.

Najib knows that having Anwar in exile is as good as putting him behind bars; but there are subtle differences. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib rejects free consultations

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Oct 6, 2014

My fellow Malaysians and I have saved the Malaysian government, Najib Abdul Razak and the nation hundreds of millions of ringgits. We provided free consultation services to spruce-up Najib’s image, rebuild trust in public institutions and foster good community race relations; but the ungrateful Najib hates local talent and sent the police after us.

That is why Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek is wrong when he said that our culture was to “respect our leaders, respect the nation and be grateful”.

Hasan’s attempt to pull more wool over our eyes, has failed. People who “respect” leaders who steal and spin lies, are devoid of any self-respect.

We are hypocrites if we respect a person who tells an international audience that he is a moderate, but allows extremists to roam scot-free. Respecting a leader who robs you is a sign that you lack integrity. No one should be “grateful” to the people who take our money to enrich themselves. Their only reward should be a jail term, courtesy of the Malaysian rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Umno Baru men fear women?

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
August 4, 2014

The WikiLeaks ‘RM5 banknote gagging order’ has revealed that we cannot look to the West (read Australia) for an example of a nation which upholds democratic values, rule of law and a free press. Similarly, Malaysians cannot look to some men, principally Malay men in Umno Baru, as role models for equality, fairness and justice.

Last month, an Umno Baru constitutional law ‘expert’ said that PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could not become menteri besar because her menstruation was an “obstacle which would prevent her from accompanying the sultan, at functions”.

A few decades ago, when working in the petroleum industry, some men tried to discourage women with comments such as, “How can you go offshore, or climb ladders? Your clothing is an ‘obstacle’.”

These men had not heard of overalls. In their opinion, high-flying women were either stenographers or shop assistants. Things have not progressed much, in Malaysia.

Perhaps, Umno Baru men are trapped in a time warp, in which women are subservient and docile. Do they hanker for the good old days when a woman was a maid at home, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom? We are not living in an Islamic caliphate nor are we living in the dark ages.

Umno Baru lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun, Umno Baru Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) lecturer Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz forget how they arrived in this world. For nine months, women carry a foetus, suffer weeks of morning sickness, have eating and sleeping problems, to climax in the pain of delivery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M’s 4Rs coming home to roost

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jun 23, 2014

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has had a terrible month. His formula of using the 4Rs – race, royalty, the rural people and religion – to deceive the rural voters, most of whom have supported Umno Baru, is disintegrating.

One of the few good things which Mahathir did was to clip the wings of the sultans in the 80s, especially during the period when the rakyat appeared to be helpless in the face of criminal acts being perpetrated by the people to whom the rakyat professed their allegiance.

Mahathir’s emasculation of royalty was half complete. In recent weeks, the Johor sultan flexed his economic muscles, but the response of the politicians and rakyat was muted. Even fewer people were willing to discuss, in public, the awkward divorce of the former sultanah of Johor, months after her husband’s death.

Who dares to say anything, when they are at risk of being persecuted? This is not a respectful silence borne of loyalty, this is keeping silent out of fear.

Meanwhile, the newly-minted sultan of Perak proclaims that he would like to discharge his duties fairly and equitably. He said, “Do not tell me tales, to send me into dreamland, when the reality on the ground is something entirely different from what has been related to me.”

How many of us would like to believe him, especially when the merest mention of anything mildly critical is like a waving a red flag to the inspector-general of police (IGP), and attracts a charge of sedition, a fine and a jail sentence? Read the rest of this entry »

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Gang-rape is okay, chocs are not

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jun 2, 2014

The Muslim NGOs who were prepared to declare jihad, sue the manufacturers and burn down a factory, because their favourite chocolates were allegedly contaminated with pig DNA, deserve our contempt, not our compassion.

Where was their condemnation of the gang-rape of two teenage girls by some 30 men in Kelantan? Why did they keep silent about the abduction, attempted rape and subsequent beheading of a two-year-old girl?

In third world countries like Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, women are treated like replaceable items. Malaysia is no different. Some of our Muslim men treat their women like disposable razors: Once the edge has gone, their usefulness is over and they are discarded. Another will take its place.

Will the Muslim NGOs demand stern action to deal with violence against women? Are chocolates more important than women? Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 exposes Hall of Shame

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Apr 7, 2014

The grand self-proclamation of “Malaysia, the Best Democracy in the World”, with its fantastic education system which rivals the British, American and German systems is a myth designed for die-hard Umno Baru supporters. This fairy-tale was shattered by the disappearance of MH370.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, like the prime ministers before him, has let down the nation, but the investigation into MH370 has trashed Malaysia’s reputation.

We need a cull of the political class to regain our credibility as a nation. We should start with the following initiates of the ‘Hall of Shame’. Politicians head the list, then civil servants. If the civil servants were to be replaced before the politicians, the new ones would be corrupted by their political masters, who dictate to them.

Malaysia has been on auto-pilot for several decades and the nation has been performing like a rudderless aeroplane. MH370 signals the beginning of the end of Umno Baru. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kajang is on the way to Putrajaya

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
February 27, 2014

Why has Anwar’s decision to contest in Kajang caused so much upheaval inside the BN camp? More so in Umno? This is just a DUN seat. As Muhyidin says, when Anwar wins, at the most he can only be MB. Najib is still the PM.

Yes, why?

Umno says it’s protecting the people of Selangor. From what? Mahathir says no one is safe if Anwar is MB.

Hmmm – maybe. Perhaps there’s some truth in what Mahathir said. I did feel shivers down my spine when I participate in a talk with Anwar especially with my back facing him. Haha. I must remember to wear an iron chastity belt the next time. Umno people – please remember that too.

No one who has stolen from the state, no one who is corrupt, and no one who has emptied the treasury will be safe. My own uneasiness dissipates when I think that no treasury, no money is safe when Umno people are around. No public works are safe with Umno people around. These are dangerous people to be around, these Umno people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Onederfully wanton NGOs

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Feb 17, 2014

Ironically, Teresa Kok’s ‘Onederful Malaysia’ film, has managed to ‘unite’ Malaysians, in a perverse way. The characters in her satirical video speak Chinese, and the clip has both Chinese and English subtitles. Incredibly, non-Chinese people, ranging from the mighty Mahathir Mohamad to nondescript Malay NGOs, have watched this video. Teresa has managed to engage Malaysians, in true ‘1Malaysia’ fashion.

Credit must be given to the Malay/Muslim NGOs. They have generated interest in Teresa’s video and exposed the hidden, serious messages, to a much larger audience than if they had not publicised the video.

The Malay/Muslim NGOs know that they are above censure and can expose whomsoever they wish. No mainstream media would dare expose the profligacy of a certain spouse of a prime minister of a South-East Asian nation. The last paper to publish her alleged extravagance had its fingers singed, when the paper’s printing permit was revoked.

Abdul Rani Kulup, the chairperson of the Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM) is the first person to publicly state that he thinks that Mrs Jit, in Teresa’s video, is Najib Abdul Razak’s spouse, the self-styled ‘First Lady’ Rosmah Mansor. It would be interesting to learn his basis for this assumption.

Abdul Rani is either very foolish or a very brave man. Perhaps, he has a personal grudge against Najib and is providing ammunition to the faction within Umno Baru which is trying to bring Najib down. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deviant sect gives M’sia two tight slaps

Mariam Mokhtar | February 7, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

The behaviour of the protesters yesterday reminds us of religious fanatics in Afghanistan or deepest Pakistan.

COMMENT

The deviants who claim to be Muslims and who wish to preserve the dignity of Malays by offering a reward to anyone who slaps Seputeh MP Teresa Kok are deranged.

They should know that there are no winners in the escalating tensions within the country. The latest act of bloody provocation has tarnished Islam and brought further disrepute to the Muslim community.

These deviants have also insulted the memory of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman who was born on Feb 8, 111 years ago. If he was alive today, he would have shed tears to see the country which he led to Merdeka being destroyed by men who are not worthy to be called leaders.

The men who claim to represent the Council of Islamic NGOs slaughtered four chickens and then daubed blood on the faces of opposition representatives, portrayed on a banner. They were upset by Teresa’s satirical video.

Did they feel good making that spectacle? Judging from the news reports, they acted like crazed men. Their behaviour reminds us of religious fanatics in Afghanistan or deepest Pakistan, who have just beheaded a man, and in their euphoria, celebrate by shooting their AK-47s into the air.

If these deviants are not censured, how long will it be before we descend to the point of no return and these loopy individuals bathe themselves in blood, whilst shouting “God is Great”? Read the rest of this entry »

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Taming the ‘pig-beast’

by Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 27, 2014

Umno Baru MPs are euphoric. They have successfully concluded the world’s longest animal behaviour experiment. Decades of living in a police state, run by a one-party system, have conditioned us to behave like laboratory rats.

‘Therapeutic’ methods are designed to make lab rats give up undesirable habits by associating them with unpleasant effects. In Malaysia, troublesome people – like those who dare to express an opinion, who design eye-catching T-shirts, or who interpret constitutional laws – will receive a nasty jolt, in the form of police harassment. Their lives are blighted by years of questioning, and the possibility of fines, jail or both.

These ‘gentle’ methods are sometimes supported by the action of thugs.

Like lab rats, our lives become devoted to pleasing the leaders who designed the experiments. We sacrifice our principles, our consciences and our children’s futures, because we are not prepared to do what is right, to question, and basically do what normal rats do best when in the wild – to live. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Lee Kuan Yew

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 13, 2014

The rivalry between former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and current PM Najib Abdul Razak has assumed ludicrous proportions. With a legacy to protect, a son to manoeuvre into position, his cronies to look after, and a country to run, Mahathir is in overdrive. He may be approaching 90, but he retains much of his vigour to annoy.

Yesterday, a former minister, Zainuddin Maidin, urged Mahathir to return to Putrajaya. Having Mahathir back in Putrajaya would be as bad as having a hole in the head.

Much to Najib’s annoyance, Mahathir refuses to shut up, but Najib has only himself to blame. Najib is busy clocking-up air-miles in his new jets. Mahathir says in one sitting, what Najib mumbles in one month.

The current ‘Allah’ side-show is meant to trick ignorant Malays, and weak-willed Muslims, into believing that Umno Baru is the only party that will protect their race and religion.

The real issue is the economy of Malaysia. Umno Baru, Najib and Mahathir are trying to mask this fact behind the ‘Allah’ charade. The rakyat is being out-manoeuvred by Umno Baru.

Last August, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew launched his book, ‘One Man’s View of the World’, in which he described Malaysia as an underperforming nation disadvantaged by its pro-Malay economic policies. Read the rest of this entry »

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The preacher and the part-time PM

by Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 6, 2014

Najib Abdul Razak: Entrepreneur. String-puller. Property speculator. Globe-trotter. Magician and part-time prime minister. Being the Malaysian PM is without doubt, a dream job.

Pampered while crossing the globe in luxury, dining at the finest restaurants, lounging in the best hotels and bedecking his spouse in the finest jewels.

The nation is on the cusp of another racial and religious conflict, but Najib is nowhere to be seen, or heard; a testimony to his expertise in performing the disappearing trick, he is the poor-man’s Tommy Cooper.

Be warned! Competition is fierce for this dream job. Although the job seems to be up for grabs every five years, just like a crooked race, the fix is in and the outsider always seems to win.

Today, when community tensions are simmering, and pro-Umno Baru NGOs are threatening Christians, Najib has again failed to censure the extremists. His head is stuck firmly in the sand, his lips are sealed together and he is hiding behind the extremist NGOs.

The recent troubles may appear to be a steep escalation in religious extremism, but they aren’t. The timing of the assault on the Christian community is critical. The Perak mufti’s intervention is revealing.

What we see is Umno Baru’s dirty politics at play. What appears to be a radical rise in extremism is an illusion being staged by pro-Umno Baru NGOs, and given excessive publicity by the mainstream media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Debunking the Umno Baru myths

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 16, 2013

Malay apathy is one of the most depressing features of Malaysian life. It is widely known that many Malays are work-shy, addicted to drugs and in long-term unemployment. Despite the early introduction of religious indoctrination, many Malays are said to be promiscuous and involved in incestuous relationships.

Some Malays are not afraid to say what our politicians are fearful of revealing. Perhaps, it is time to debunk Umno Baru’s lies. You may wish to add to the list below.

1. Only Umno Baru can protect the Malays

Umno Baru only protects the Malays who are beholden to them. The critical Malay does not win tenders for projects. He may find all manner of problems with his business licence. His application for government permits may be delayed or rejected.

A civil servant who dares to openly criticise may be demoted or sacked, and find his income tax being scrutinised, as punishment. Meritocracy, intellect and hard-work count for nothing in the Umno Baru world, only blind allegiance does.

When will the Malays realise that Umno Baru would cease to exist without the Malays? Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno Baru running scared

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 9, 2013

The 4Rs – race, royalty, religion and the rural people – have been used by Umno Baru to divide and rule Malaysia.

When Najib asked the rhetorical question, “Where would the Malays be without Umno Baru?”, it was a cry of desperation and an admission of defeat.

Umno Baru’s hold on the Malays is slipping. Najib and Umno-Baru are scared. Without the Malays, where would Umno Baru be? Domination of the Malays is not about protecting their rights. It is all about power and status.

The line that Umno Baru has used for over five decades to divide the nation, is no longer relevant. Malay graduates who return to Malaysia do so because they have to fulfil the terms of their scholarship or loan. Try asking them what they really feel about Malaysia, about Umno Baru and its leaders. Their stories will fill you with hope.

The current clampdown on dissent and the hunt for Malays who speak their minds is because the government is afraid. A thinking Malay is a threat to Umno Baru. A thinking Malay who is prepared to question the leaders and make them accountable for their actions will erode the power of Umno Baru.

Umno Baru knows that one thinking Malay will embolden other Malays and very soon, Umno Baru will become irrelevant. Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP’s Xmas hit – You better watch out

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 2, 2013

I am on the waiting-list for membership of the exclusive ‘Sedition Club Uniting Malaysians’, (SCUM) which has several distinguished members like Adam Adli, Haris Ibrahim, Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar, Safwan Anang and Zunar. I don’t think many people know the criteria which makes one eligible for membership.

Who would have realised that a well-meaning article ‘One Idealogy, Two Reactions’ about the need to be compassionate to Malaysians, regardless of their political leanings or social background, would have upset the inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar?

Does Khalid suffer from an inferiority complex or was he under extreme pressure to explain his involvement in the Lahad Datu debacle?

More importantly, he wanted to divert attention from the terrible handling of the Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab story, by the Malaysian government and himself. They probably thought they would capitalise on the story of Aishah’s enslavement. Read the rest of this entry »

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